By Rusen Kumar
Today I read a report ‘SDG Compass‘. It is the guide for business action on the SDGs. It is developed by GRI, United Nation Global Compact and WBCSD. I found it a wonderful document. It is simple and effective. It is useful for all business who are willing to go ahead with SDGs mission. Actually, SDGs are a set of corporate social responsibilities (CSR) for business and a set of social responsibilities of an individual.
The prime document on SDGs simply explains how the SDGs can help and affect the business. How SDGs offering you the tools and knowledge to put sustainability. Governments and larger business worldwide have already agreed to these goals. Now it is time for small business and enterprises to take action. To be most effective, your business function and sustainability goals should be an integral part of its full set of financial, strategic and operational goals, alongside goals for areas such as sales and productivity.
It has rightly said that businesses cannot succeed in societies that fail, that’s why SDGs matter the most for businesses.
Unlike their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs explicitly call on businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solve Socio-Economic challenges. The SDGs have been agreed by governments around the world. So their success relies heavily on action and collaboration by all actors.
The SDGs present an opportunity for business-led solutions and technologies. It demands that technology and solutions to be developed and implemented to address the burning challenges of countries and society.
SDGs set the global agenda for the development of our societies and communities. SDGs allows organisations to demonstrate how their actions helps to advance socio-economic activities for betterment and advancement. Development is a lifelong process. SDGs also invite for call to action minimising negative impacts and maximising positive impacts on people and the planet.
Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General once said, “Business is a vital partner in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies can contribute through their core activities and we ask companies everywhere to assess their the impact set ambitious goals and communicate transparently about the results.”
SDGs cover a wide spectrum of sustainable development topics relevant to companies and enterprises. Such as poverty, health, education, climate change, and environmental degradation. Themes of SDGs are good help to connect business strategies with global priorities. Actually, local issues are real global issues. Companies may use the SDGs as an overarching framework to shape, steer, communicate and report their strategies, goals and activities. Ideology of SDGs is great opportunity allowing them to capitalise on a range of benefits such as:
Identifying future business opportunities
The SDGs aim to redirect global public and private investment flows towards the challenges they represent. In doing so they define growing markets for companies that can deliver innovative solutions and transformative change.
Enhancing the value of corporate sustainability
The business case for corporate sustainability is already well established. The SDGs may for example strengthen the economic incentives for business organisation to use resources more efficiently, or to switch to more sustainable alternatives, as externalities become increasingly internalised.
Strengthening stakeholder relations
The SDGs reflect stakeholder expectations as well as future policy direction at the international, national and regional levels. Companies that align their priorities with
the SDGs can strengthen the engagement of customers, employees and other stakeholders.
Stabilising societies and markets
It has rightly said that businesses need a progressive society to run and grow. Successful society is good for business success. That’s why SDGs matter the most for businesses. Investing in the achievement of the SDGs supports pillars of business success, including the existence of rules-based markets, transparent financial systems, and non-corrupt and well-governed institutions.
Using a common language and shared purpose
The SDGs define a common framework of action and the language that will help business communicate more consistently and effectively with stakeholders about
their impact and performance. The goals are able to help bring together synergistic partners to address the local and world’s most urgent societal challenges. As a first step, it’s important to familiarise yourself and be ready with the SDGs and understand the opportunities and responsibilities they represent to your business.
Enhancing the value of corporate sustainability
The business case for corporate sustainability is well established. By integrating sustainability considerations across the value chain, companies can protect and create value for themselves. For example, increasing sales, developing new market segments, strengthening the brand, improving operational efficiency, stimulating product innovation and reducing employee turnover.
About the Author
Rusen Kumar is the founder and managing editor of India CSR – The CSR Informer of India. He writes on CSR, Sustainability and Environmental affairs. He brings an understanding of governance, leadership development, social development, human development, and strategic focus by serving for-profit and not-for-profit boards and as an advisor to chief executive officers and executive management members. His leadership accomplishments in social enterprise, planning, and governance range from viable achievements in knowledge forum initiatives to advancement of corporate social responsibility issues in India. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org