Our Planet is facing enormous economic, social and environmental challenges. To overcome them, governments around the world have reached an agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals.
These goals represent an opportunity to eliminate social injustices such as poverty and push us to build a socio-economic sustainable world. However, although this may seem to be the responsibility of governments and public entities alone, the reality is that it is the private sector, specifically particular businesses, that are the major players in this scenario. A scenario that is both urgent and crucial.
How do we include the Sustainable Development Goals in our business strategy?
1.Understand the possibilities of growth thanks to the SDGs
Companies can use SDGs to shape, manage and communicate their strategies, goals and activities.
Today’s global challenges represent market opportunities for those companies capable of developing innovative and effective solutions.
Furthermore, by integrating the sustainability factor into the value chain, companies can protect and create value for themselves.
Consumers are increasingly focusing their consumption decisions on their perception of a company’s sustainability performance, and SDGs can further strengthen this trend.
Another advantage of integrating SDGs is to create aligned partnerships in terms of expectations. Strengthening relationships between stakeholders, customers or employees.
2. Defining priorities
Defining our priorities as a company will help us target our efforts.
It is appealing to establish the value chain as a starting point to evaluate the impact and to be able to define the priorities. From the base of the supply and logistics of entry, throughout production and operations, into distribution, use and end-of-life of products or services.
In other words, perform detailed analysis of each SDG at each stage of the value chain, mapping where impacts can be expected to be greatest.
This will help to understand where we should direct our efforts. For each of the potentially high impact areas, we should establish indicators that express the relationship between the company’s activities and its impact on sustainable development, so that performance can be monitored.
Once we have identified these areas of potential impact, we must set the SDGs that best represent them.
It is recommended that you carefully consider your company’s level of ambition with respect to the objectives. Ambitious targets tend to drive more impact and better performance than when dealing with more modest targets.
Decisions taken with respect to objectives will also have reputational implications. It is therefore advisable to publish all or some of the company’s objectives. This is a very effective communication tool, since they express in simple and practical terms the company’s aspirations in terms of sustainable development.
Depending on the nature of the company and its sustainability objectives, some functions will be more important than others.
There are numerous practices that lead to organizational change and support business integration, from raising awareness to utilizing the knowledge and inspiration received through external experts.
Many companies have established councils, boards, or working groups of sustainability, made up of people from different areas. In some instances, government structures. This creates the space for strategic discussions dedicated to sustainability priorities, which can be especially valuable in the early stages of business integration.