How Businesses Can Advance 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Top 6 ways for Corporates to walk the  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) path

The year 2015 saw the emergence of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). These 17 goals are ambitious, widespread, and important for the planet. They are meant to be achieved by 2030 and so-referred to as the 2030 Agenda. 

SDGs wrap up all three different areas of sustainable development, namely social, economic, and ecological. And who are they meant for? Well, SDGs are vital for everyone. From civil society to academia to corporations, they cover a broad spectrum. 

Think like this – Businesses + SDGs = Sustainability + Development. Herein, businesses and SDGs are associated with each other to give outcomes like sustainability and development. This is why 72% of companies state SDGs in their reporting. Another 25% of the firms incorporated SDGs in their produced business strategy. Considering SDGs as a unifying element, businesses can implement them for a positive reputation. The ways are given below:

 

1. Follow The Philanthropist’s Way

Philanthropy is a unique and charitable way to explore numerous solutions, perform experimentation, and form a closer bond with organizations. Concerning this, corporate philanthropy is also picking up speed especially when it comes to implementing SDGs. 

Source: theconversation.com

As per United Nations (UN), India needs $2.5 trillion to reach its climate targets by 2030. So, it is also the responsibility of the private sector to contribute a huge chunk to this financial load. Corporates can pair up with NGOs to create an optimistic impact on SDG related areas.  A good record of all the investments made in NGOs should be kept to create a social value in alignment with SDGs. 

Protip: Nonprofits like Malala Fund which advocate the cause of gender equality and women empowerment related to SDG #5 can be supported through voluntary grants.

2. Practice What You Preach About SDGs

With Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ticking to the number 17, corporates can be open about their business models. They must check whether their existing business model is delivering what SDGs demand. Trend lines highlighted in sustainability reports can be a better option to judge this.

Source: responsible-investor.com

The 13th Annual Sustainability Report released by Infosys in 2020 depicts its choices for building a zero-carbon future. In its key highlights, the report spotlights zero wastewater discharge from the company’s campuses among other sustainability steps. 

Protip: The corporate institutions can also increase the living wages of the employees to achieve SDG #1: No Poverty, SDG #2: Zero Hunger, and SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. 

3. Support The Pledge for Clean Sanitation and Water

Among all major necessities of humanity, clean sanitation and water are major ones. But as per WASH facts, in 2017 more than 2 billion people around the world didn’t have access to basic sanitation. In another estimate, it was found that in 2017, 884 million people didn’t have safe water to consume. 

Source: publichealthnotes.com

Here businesses can appear as a ray of hope. They can support SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation by making their businesses commit to a WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) pledge to make good water and sanitation accessible at the workplace. 

Protip: When away from home and at the office, the employees can be encouraged to carry pristine water inside silver stainless steel bottles manufactured by Ksamah.

dare steel bottle

Odor-free, unbreakable silver stainless steel bottle by Ksamah

4. Think to Implement Impressive Business Models

Impact business models tend to make a particularly positive outcome for its stakeholders. They create a social and environmental value through their operational practices, products and services that impart to the SDGs, and other constructive tailings. 

Source: hospitalityinsights.ehl.edu

On the contrary, sustainable business models rely on 4 elements: 

  1. 1. Commercial profitability 
  2. Future success 
  3. Long-term use of natural resources 
  4. They offer back

Schneider Electric has established a business model that connects its business activities and 17 SDGs through – Development, Climate, Ethics, Circular Economy, and Health & Equity.

Protip: A company can install solar panels to decrease its carbon footprint with a major focus on SDG #7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG #13: Climate Action. 

5. Pay Taxes Rightfully

It is a common belief that taxation is directly proportional to better finances for development. Look at what follows when not only individuals but corporations also pay their taxes dutifully. Taxes can assist in reducing inequalities in and among societies (SDG 10) and motivate the establishment of reliable political institutions (SDG 16).

Source: nytimes.com

Taxes when paid on time with the right intention can help society transform. The property and income taxes paid by corporate citizens form a protective circle around SDG related environmental and social good. 

Protip: Under SDG #17: Partnerships for the Goals, corporations can form an association with the government through taxes to implement SDGs. This is indeed a significant step.

6. Recognize Excellent Behaviours

Recognition of superior attempts and behaviours breeds further brilliance in employees. And when that brilliance is correlated with environmental friendly efforts, then an SDG like “Responsible Consumption and Production” can be achieved. 

Source: chartcourse.com

Rewards like “Employee of The Month or Year” are presented to those who get more money for the company. Why not give these awards to those who practice sustainable consumption at the workplace in one form or another? Let the positive habit grow and inspire others through recognition as an incentive. 

Protip: Bamboo Face Towel (Green and Grey) and Reusable Coffee Cup (Owl and Meerkat) can be forms of sustainable products to be used in offices. Moreover, Reusable Cutlery Kit and Eco-Coffee/Tea Gift Box can be served as some splendid rewards cum gifts.

Beautifully Presented Eco-Coffee/Tea Gift Box by Ksamah

Summing Up…

When we think of Agenda 2030, a picture of purpose comes before our eyes. In it, we find growth, development, and security. Similarly, when we imagine a business environment, an image of the well-being of employees, gender equality and equal pay, reduction in carbon footprint, etc. strikes us. These images are very much related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and should be converted from imagination into reality all the time. Businesses can accelerate this mission for sure. 

At last,

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are amazingly empowering, futuristic, and good”!

– Sonali Sharma

#sustainable #eco-friendly #zero waste #ecological #go green #no plastic #reusable #natural #eco products #ksamah

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