Business continues to move in a direction where it is increasingly important to not only think about economic growth and shareholders, but also the impact your organization makes on society. Miss that, and you may not like the impact on your economic growth and shareholder value!
Organizations of all types are facing increasing expectations that they will not only create value for themselves but that they will also create social value and be effective environmental stewards in the process. This expectation, and the potential negative impacts for not meeting it, permeates businesses and industries worldwide, and is growing stronger.
Business success without creating social value and being an effective environmental steward isn’t impossible, but it is getting more difficult all the time
Part of this movement to promote positive change focuses on sustainable development. In September 2015, the United Nations unanimously passed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which became the de-facto global development framework and the backbone of the 2030 Agenda being adopted by countries, organizations and industries worldwide.
The SDGs outline how to achieve the World We Want and include:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
These goals were developed by leaders from all sectors, including business and set out the framework for creating the World We Want. They apply to every country and were supported by every country. Adopted in 2015 they are gaining momentum and are impacting planning and strategies for businesses, governments and organizations worldwide.
These SDGs provide a framework that gives organizations the opportunity to become more strategic in creating social value and business value. They work well as a guide for businesses to follow — an overview to ensure there is focus on areas of importance that align with greater global goals.
Integrating SDGs needs to be viewed as a business opportunity — not a setback. Those organizations that approach these goals in such a way will act as leaders in paving the way to how modern business is handled. They will join a world where business meets society and where business value creation also creates positive social impacts and is founded on responsible environemntal stewardship
Those businesses and organizations that learn to embrace this new reality and use the SDGs to create alignment between profit, planet and people will find new opportunities emerging and improve the likelihood of long term sustainable competitive advantage.
But, it isn’t a slamdunk. This transition can be intimidating, overwhelming and, often confusing.
Because of this, we have created a brand new program to help you integrate the SDGs into your business strategy. The program is designed to be practical and pragmatic, and will bring together businesses of different sectors to help explore strategies surrounding these topics.
Through interactive lectures, modules, and hands-on case studies, participants will come together to look at how businesses can use the SDGs as a way to help drive more business and social value at the same time. Those who complete the program will leave ready and eager to make change and put what they’ve learned into practise.
Register now for our certified masterclass on Integrating SDGs Into Business Strategy and Sustainability Reporting and Communication, taking place in Accra, Ghana from March 19-23, 2018.
And if you would like to speak to me about how a value-centric strategic approach to CSR can help your government or business leverage social capital to deliver more value, send me an email at email@example.com.