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Green Element were lucky enough to be invited to this interesting and thought-provoking event at Linklaters on February 1st, coordinated by the Planet Mark and the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA), surrounding the Sustainable Development Goals – what they mean for business and how they are helping change the world for the better.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or ‘Global Goals’ as referred to and coined by the SDG promotional communications campaign Project Everyone, are a set of 17 globally-focussed goals with 169 sub-targets that aim to alleviate poverty, protect the environment and ecosystems, and call for social justice and peace.
193 nations have signed up for this. However, actual action at the government level is mixed globally, and, as mentioned by MP Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, in her keynote speech at the event, engagement in the UK has been disappointing and not at the levels required to successfully make an impact. She highlighted that the responsibility now falls onto businesses, who can actually make a huge positive impact if approached in the right way.
Sustainable business and adoption of SDGs in business models could unlock $12 trillion worth of opportunities and innovation by 2030, whilst creating 380 million jobs. This would encompass both business savings and revenue gains.
Louise Scott, Global Sustainability COO of PwC had some interesting insights regarding SDG engagement for business, emphasising that it is key for businesses to start thinking and planning ahead. Many organisations cite the excuse of incorporating the SDGs as being ‘too complicated’, and many others are not adopting them in the most useful way – however her key suggestion is for businesses to really think about which specific goals they can adopt and work towards. Some recent research from PwC has found that, although 92% of the businesses they studied are aware of the SDGs, only 13% of businesses identified tools required to follow through. Businesses need to identify the links between the goals and the sub-targets within, so that they can align their own goals effectively and almost formulate a story through this – this approach has shown to be most effective and these businesses are performing much better in the market according to Louise.
PwC has developed a handy tool to help businesses do just this – found here
Entering relevant criteria will generate a handful of specific goals which your business could really focus on and adopt in order to truly make an impact.
Piers Bradford, managing director of Project Everyone, showcased some great communications material to help highlight the essence of the SDGs themselves and what they really stand for. Check them out here:
There is some great downloadable media material (such as the photo grid above) to use across business content and websites.
Using the SDGs appropriately and connecting them within the business’ own agenda is therefore an excellent way for businesses to take meaningful action – aligning environmental management, incorporating more social and charitable work, for instance, can all contribute towards achieving positivity with regards to the SDGs.
By aligning our own work with the SDGs, we at Green Element can really help our clients to also focus on adopting the Goals and aligning these with their needs, to work together for a better future.
PwC research information can be found here: https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/Is-business-grasping-the-full-potential-of-SDGs.html and full report https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/sustainability/SDG/SDG%20Research_FINAL.pdf
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