Insight & Analysis
Public Private Partnerships: CSR & Shared Value Partnerships for the SDGs
20 August, 2017
Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Shared Value are today’s most important issues for shareholders according to Harvard Business Review (July 2016).
The world has changed. Society expects business to create social value along with shareholder value and is prepared to punish those that don’t.
This expectation represents a risk and often an opportunity. Many firms are embracing them and turning them into a strategic advantage. Others are ignoring them at their peril and most will end up paying a price for doing so.
Public and private sector organizations of all types are discovering that SDG focused Public Private Partnerships can help meet society’s growing expectations AND produce significant organizational value as well.
Businesses, NGOs, governments and other private and public organizations are finding that the SDG framework can facilitate synergy and alignment between non-conventional partners, creating an orientation that serves the partner’s and society’s interest. A Win-Win-Win success
SDG partnerships can help business with social license, product marketing, employee retention and recruitment, regulatory friction, brand development and a host of other areas.
Similarly, SDG partnerships can support mission issues for NGOs and other non-business organizations. The partnerships can bring strategic capacity, financial and human resources, economies of scale, operational expertise, etc.
These value impacts are being discovered by businesses, NGOs and other organizations worldwide.
There is often so much room to add creativity and foster fun, alignment and impact.
Here are a few examples – there are many, many more.
Goats, SDGs and Data Solutions
Formation Data Solutions had a limited marketing budget so teamed with Oxfam on a See a Demo, Get a Goat promotion. Every customer that saw a demo of Formation’s service had a goat donated in their name to an impoverished African Family.
It drove demos, sales and evolved into a corporate mission! And benefited families and communities and Oxfam. How Win, Win, Win is that!
SAB Millar: Integrating the SDGs
SAB Millar has gone a step beyond SDG partnerships and systematically aligns and reports on its core business values and corporate mission to the SDGs.
This helps the business to more efficiently align shareholder and societal value across its operations and facilitates developing partnerships with impact.
Support the SDGs & Slash Recruiting, Retention and HR Costs
Cone Communications study found that 93% of employees want to work for a company that is socially and environmentally responsible with 70% saying they would be more loyal to the company. A strong majority of Millennials and Gen Xers put social and environmental responsibility as a core expectation
“When you implement CSR into your company’s core of operation, you’ll have happier and more excited employees, even at the management level. This will ultimately lead to greater productivity and talent retention, not to mention actively helping make the world a better place.”
With these (seemingly) obvious advantages you would expect to see an explosion of mutually beneficial, productive partnerships. We are seeing some, but it is really only scratching the surface.
Effective public-private development partnerships can drive organizational success. Yet many fail to start or fail to survive?
Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners.
Business, NGOs and development agencies have natural partnership opportunities but organizational history, including historical mistrust between many businesses and NGOs and the often conflicting perspectives of each organization’s internal and external stakeholders can make these partnerships hard to realize.
The SDGs provide a framework that can facilitate effective public private partnerships for development, but much work needs to be done to help organizations to embrace the opportunities and develop durable partnerships that align societal and sharehold