Contributing to The Bigger Picture with the UN SDGs

Image Credits: Prosperah

UN Sustainable Goals Webinar With Prosperah

8th Nov 2021 | Author: Chris Taylor

Includability hosted an interactive webinar for Official Partners, Prosperah to answer to the questions of what value can the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) bring to businesses? and how can they start their journey of supporting the goals?

Hosted by Alice Troiano, Co-Founder of Prosperah, she introduced the SDGs, explained how businesses can be purpose led with the goals embedded within their business models, and how adopting several and really prioritising some of the key indicators can have a tangible impact on the 2030 agenda.

The SDGs were formalised and adopted by all UN member states in 2015 as a blueprint for peace, prosperity and greater sustainable development for people and planet, now and in the future. At the heart of that ambition are the 17 SDGs, which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.   

With the UN reporting that the global pandemic has wiped out many of the gains achieved since 2015, it is more important than ever that companies champion the goals in order to still achieve these 17 goals by 2030.  

Why Should Businesses Care?

Alice tackled the first major question companies unsure about adopting the SDGs into their businesses. She said that the SDGs can put sustainability at the heart of any business, that they can make impacts more measurable and clearer for a big-picture strategy, and the SDGs can company impacts more engaging for employees, customers, and stakeholders. 

She explained the interactivity with a metaphor of a company with £5,000 to spend. Spending the money on digital ads has the practical benefit of metrics and measurements which help companies know how many people they are reaching, the interest directly generated from them, and the increased revenue generated as a result. Spending the same money as a charitable donation has an impact for the better, but you will never know exactly what the money was spent on and how impactful it was to the cause. Spending the same money to make an impact on an SDG will have the same feeling as spending to help a charity with the added benefit of having 169 specific targets and many more indicators to keep track of specific impacts.

 

Adopting the SDGs

Alice offered practical steps for businesses to start their own journey to adopting the SDGs. This started with breaking the SDGs into 5 Ps to consider: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace & Partnerships. She invited the audience to consider how they already make an impact in those fields and consider how they would already align with the SDGs.

She then set an activity which any business can consider if their existing activities are already impacting the SDGs.

 

Once your business strategy is aligned to the SDGs, it was then important to consider how they impact your stakeholders, both internal and external. Positive impacts might not just affect employees, client or your board, but also customers, competitors and the local community. Alice set a second task to see where SDG impacts align with stakeholder priorities.

 

The webinar concluded with the simple message of less is more. Businesses that have a clear and feasible strategy on making a real impact on a few SDGs are more likely to have the greatest impact than a business attempting to adopt more SDGs with only a few target indicators met.

Thanks to audience attendance of this event, 160 trees were planted in the Includability forest in partnership with Ecologi.