The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. (SDGs). The new Agenda stresses a comprehensive approach to attaining sustainable development for all, based on the idea of "leaving no one behind."
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Business Forum, which took place in July 2017, recognized the importance of business in delivering on the promise of long-term, inclusive development. Today we will discuss the SDGs and how firms may interact with the SDG framework to drive corporate development and productivity while also contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development's vision of a better future.
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outline the UN's agenda for people, planet, and prosperity, with the goal of creating a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable society for everyone by 2030. In September 2015, 193 countries signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations. The 17 objectives and 169 targets are intended to spur action in areas that are vital to mankind and the environment.
Why the SDGs matter: business opportunities
Unilever CEO Paul Polman told Eco-Business that the SDGs are at the heart of the company's business strategy, and that all 300 of the company's brands are dedicated to achieving the goals. Unilever, the world's largest consumer products corporation, advocates and demonstrates the concept that putting sustainability at the center of a company's business strategy makes perfect sense if it wants to be successful in the long run.
The SDGs may create US$12 trillion in corporate savings and income across four sectors by 2030, according to a research by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission (January 2017): energy, cities, food and agriculture, and health and well-being. It identifies the 60 most significant commercial opportunities for achieving the SDGs, including sustainable aquaculture and mine rehabilitation. According to the research, alignment of corporate strategy with the SDGs would result in the development of 380 million additional employment in these four industries over the next ten to fifteen years.
Investor and consumer behavior driven
Investors are increasingly more concerned with firms' sustainability risk profiles as well as commercial prospects tied to sustainability. They are interested in the SDGs, and companies are actively supporting its achievement. The Dutch financial industry, for example, supports the SDGs: 18 financial institutions with a combined asset value of EUR2900 billion are working together to invest in the SDGs. Two of these organizations, in addition to aiding other institutional investors, have created a common process for identifying investment possibilities tied to 13 SDGs.
According to PwC's global study, 78 percent of customers are more inclined to buy goods and services from firms who have committed to the SDGs.
One of the important themes from the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce's SDG Business Forum in July was that a deeper knowledge of economic, social, and environmental risks is required in order to properly address the question of how and by whom they may be mitigated.
A thorough risk evaluation of your company, including supplier chains and third-party business partnerships, can help you understand your risks and the impact your company has on the SDGs. It may assist you in defining and prioritizing your strategies, as well as aligning your strategy with the SDGs to maximize positive effect or minimize negative impact.
How firms can implement SDG’s
1) Recognize the effects of your business and value chain: Identifying where your company's direct and indirect value chain impacts overlap with the SDGs (for example, the impacts from the use of your products or services) will help you identify where your impact overlaps with the SDGs, as well as areas where there may be commercial opportunities in contributing to an SDG.
2) Align with the Sustainable Development Goals: No company can act on all 17 Goals at the same time or prioritize them all equally. Instead, choose a handful that are relevant to you and your company and fall inside your sphere of influence, allowing you to have the greatest impact.
3) Make a list of SDG goals: Once you've decided which high-level SDGs you want to contribute to, you'll need to choose and prioritize the most relevant objectives to measure and track. This might be determined by relevance and alignment with your business, existing metrics and objectives, business requirements, priorities, and stakeholder interests.
4) Analyze the gaps: Now that a brief list of goals and targets has been created, it's time to compare existing metrics and business practices to the list. Setting internal business objectives and plans to achieve them can assist you in engaging your colleagues in enhancing prospects and contributing to the SDGs.
5) Make plans and put them into action: The goal of the SDGs is to take genuine, meaningful, collaborative action. The goals give a framework to motivate businesses, organizations, and individuals to make changes and promote global betterment.