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  • Writer's pictureBarsha Singh

Goals for Sustainable Development

Inclusion of the poor, depletion of natural resources, instability in geopolitical relations, damage to the environment, and the many facets of climate change are all addressed by SDGs. They define the agenda for inclusive economic growth through 2030, and they were created with input from businesses, universities, and non-profit organisations around the world.

Environmental, social, and economic problems have all been addressed by several enterprises. Leading businesses have realised that the only way to address the complex sustainability challenges is to collaborate with peers, industry and sector organisations, customers, governments, non-profit organisations, and society. The Sustainable Development SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) offer a universal and visionary framework for global collaboration and action, bringing together all stakeholders to confront and solve these issues in a proactive way.

Business is likely to play a major role in achieving the SDGs, and it may also have a lot to gain.

The case for action

Limited natural resources, poor financial markets, a lack of local buying power, and a lack of competent people are all factors that restrict a company's development. In four key themes: growth, risk, capital, and purpose, we see a clear business case for companies to use the SDGs to create opportunities to address these challenges.

Encourage expansion.

At a macro level, corporate growth is related to the SDGs' success; however, enterprises should determine how they can contribute to the objectives' achievement in a manner that promotes financial performance in the markets in which they operate to take action at a local level.

While SDGs 8, 9, and 12 focus on economic growth, employment, sustainable industrialization, innovation, and sustainable production, many other SDGs also assist companies by enabling them to expand into new markets, recruit talent, and decrease operational risk.

For example, beverage companies' strategy aligns with SDG No. 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation – when they invest in improved watersheds by working to replenish the aquifer water they use, thereby committing to provide clean water to people in water-stressed regions. They are investing in their social licence to operate and thus strengthening their brands in these communities while providing water supplies to sustain their bottling franchises near those watersheds.

More resilient communities, reliable access to natural resources, and an educated and healthy population to support their workforce benefit all businesses. Companies can help secure their ability to generate capital and shareholder value by assisting in the progress toward these outcomes and creating shared value.

Impact of SDG

The SDGs' success is heavily reliant on data, and many experts predict a data revolution to meet the demand. Defining which indicators are relevant, how current business metrics align to them, and potentially developing new ones, as well as figuring out how to measure success against them, will take a significant amount of time and investment for businesses. The Total Impact Management & Measurement framework is one such approach that would assist businesses in establishing a baseline from which to monitor, measure, and evaluate the impact of interventions and strategies, as well as provide evidence for how a business contributes to the achievement of the SDGs. However, it is more than just measuring outputs, impacts, and outcomes; data must also be recorded and submitted on time.

So, what's the first step in starting a business?

What does this imply in terms of action and next steps? Seven steps are required for effective engagement with the SDGs:

  • 1 Agree on which SDGs your company and its value chain have a direct and indirect impact on in the countries where you operate.

  • Agree on a methodology and track your company's impact on all of the SDGs.

  • Recognize the areas in which your company has a positive or negative impact on each SDG.

  • Recognize the priorities of the governments in which your company operates.

  • Prioritize reducing negative impacts and increasing positive impacts based on what governments must accomplish.

  • Incorporate your newfound knowledge into your company's strategy and planning.

  • Demonstrate your impact and contribution to the SDGs.

Making a smooth transition to this new model, in which the Sustainable Development Goals play a central role in operational considerations, planning, reporting, and strategy, could make all the difference in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Tips for a Long-Term Business- There are a number of things you can do to make your company more sustainable:

• Cut meeting costs: To save money on business travel, make a phone call instead of conducting a meeting, send an email instead of posting, and arrange virtual meetings.

• Save money by preserving computer data rather than printing them, promoting on your website rather than in brochures, and distributing promotional materials through email rather than postal mail.

• Reuse old envelopes, encourage staff to bring their own mugs, have printer cartridges renewed rather than replaced, and use recycled stationery items to save waste.

• Recycle it: recycle anything that can't be reused, and find out what your local government will recycle. Recycling bins should be placed in places where staff will utilise them. Organizing a regular book, clothes, or DVD exchange day in the workplace is a terrific way to keep staff engaged.

• Turn it off: When not in use, turn off lights, computers, printers, and appliances at the power outlet; they will last longer and your power bills will be lower.

• Outsource it: rather than expanding office space, use cloud computing services (web-based data storage) to reduce server needs and power costs.

• Lower it: turn down the air conditioner; even a one-degree drop in temperature on a hot day can increase your energy costs by 10%. Use cut-out switches to eliminate standby power usage, install automatic lighting sensors, have power supplied by green energy providers, and choose hybrid cars for your fleet vehicles to further reduce energy consumption. Fix leaking taps and decrease the hot water temperature setting in the office kitchen to save water and energy use, and run the dishwashers only when they are full.

• Invest in the environment: Establish a sustainable supply strategy and rules, and send your suppliers a checklist enquiring about their ecologically friendly goods and services. Require printers to print on recycled paper, and swap out old equipment for more energy-efficient, long-lasting models. Examine your accounts to see where money is being spent unnecessarily. Set up a task force to reduce paper waste if stationery and paper supplies are expensive. Investigate video conferencing if staff travel costs are high.

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