On the 17th of February, DFGE co-animated a webinar on Sustainable Development Goals with the World Environment Center. For those who missed it, we summarize the main conclusions of the webinar in this article.
The webinar featured sustainability experts.
Elisa Tonda (Head of Business and Industry Unit, UNEP), Lorraine Francourt (Director, EH&S & Sustainability, EMEA & AP, The Dow Chemical Company), Wolfgang Berger (VP Business Development, DFGE- Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy) and Terry F. Yosie (President and CEO, World Environment Center) presented current trends on how companies are using the Sustainable Development Goals and on how companies can address them.
Main highlights from the webinar
(1) The SDGs are becoming important because they provide an internationally approved framework to address global challenges. Business has a vital interest in a world free from human suffering and environmental degradation and finds it essential that coordinated and measurable action takes place.
(2) Companies find value in using the SDG’s, e.g. because they help identify and meet societal expectations, especially in developing markets where the major growth opportunities lie.
(3) Companies such as Dow Chemical are already applying the SDGs. They have gone through intense stakeholder consultations (both internally and externally) and have now embedded their sustainability goal-setting-process into a structure that allows for measuring and reporting on the SDGs. Dow sets goals for each of the SDG’s but not for each indicator. Even less ambitious companies that address just a few goals would be coherent with the United Nation’s objective: every company should find its own way of contributing to the SDGs.
(4) Companies can align the SDGs with their business strategies and existing reporting frameworks such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact, and CDP responses. While the SDGs may have similar content to the aforementioned, these pre-existing initiatives and frameworks are generally more focused in certain areas. The SDGs are, instead, a framework to report on a company’s contribution to solve global challenges and enable a strategic perspective for companies that actively want to identify business opportunities for the common good.
A worldwide topic
It seems that companies show a deep interest in this topic. Slightly more than 100 sustainability experts attended the webinar. 74% were business representatives, while 26% were from academia, advisory firms, governments, and NGO’s. Geographical distribution was 49% from Europe, 38% from the US, 8% from Latin America and 5% from Northern Africa/Middle East/Pacific.
For more information, please consult: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs or our blog article on how to address SDGs: Companies are key to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. You can also directly consult us at firstname.lastname@example.org
DFGE recently co-animated a webinar organized by the World Environment Center on how Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be implemented at corporate level. Here is the short summary of what was discussed there.
SDGs are the world’s new sustainability agenda
The Sustainable Development Goals were defined by the United Nations to set the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. They build on the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) to extend them. The 17 goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development (Environment, Social, Economic) and targets have been defined to reach them. All countries and all stakeholders agreed to strive to implement them.
SDGs are a reference for organizations
The partnership between stakeholders and companies is key to ensure the achievement of the SDGs. In this sense, companies can use the SDGs as a reference to showcase how their actions impact the global picture: it is a way to ensure better transparency.
Like many other frameworks, it does not compete with existing standards, but companies can build upon them. For instance, answering to CDP will enable to tackle SDG 13 on climate action.
SDGs are also a framework where companies can understand the needs of the stakeholders like local institutions and communities. Dialogue with stakeholders enable companies to identify topics which are material for them, and to align it with the CSR strategy.
CSR management and reporting can help address the goals
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a way for companies to tackle these global challenges.
With CSR reporting, companies inform the stakeholders they previously consulted and engaged, and can show how their projects are reducing environmental, social and governance impacts.
With a CSR management system, a continuous improvement is fostered. Indeed, impacts are identified and targets are set accordingly. Then actions are implemented to reach these objectives. KPIs enable to measure the success of these actions, and a review leads to new actions.
Below you will find a list of examples of corporate actions that can be implemented.
Examples of corporate actions for each goal
- No poverty: labor management relations with a notice before changes, alternative solutions to lay-offs fostered through social dialogue, clear rules for remuneration
- Zero hunger: ensuring no poverty (SDG1) leads to less hunger. Partnerships with local community and NGOs on food topics (donation, training, volunteering,)
- Good health and well-being: health and safety program including stress prevention plan, ergonomics in the workplace, work-life balance measures
- Quality education: training plan for skills enhancement and implementation
- Gender equality: equal remuneration, rules for hiring, training of HR and managers on discrimination, whistle-blowing system
- Clean water and sanitation: water reduction project, wastewater treatment equipment
- Affordable and clean energy: resort to sustainable energy sources, energy reduction program
- Decent work and economic growth: rules for hiring, training of HR and managers on identification and prevention of child labor, forced labor, whistle-blowing system… Implementation of shared value initiatives including valorization of the value chain (for example by training a supplier, which then delivers a better product)
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure: participation in industry initiatives, like the EICC and the EICC code of conduct for Telecommunications sector
- Reduced inequalities: diversity program, non-discrimination training and whistle-blowing
- Sustainable cities and communities: stakeholder engagement program, shared value initiatives, community involvement program, community development program (donations, volunteering,)
- Responsible consumption and production: sustainable procurement program (risk-assessment, code of conduct, performance assessment, improvement actions, responsible sourcing) and promotion of sustainable consumption (eco-labels, information to customers about sourcing)
- Climate action: carbon footprint calculation, energy-efficient materials and measures
- Life below water: prevention of water pollution (waste water treatment), partnership with a dedicated NGO
- Life on land: natural habitats restoration, assessment of risks linked to biodiversity before construction, partnership with a dedicated NGOs
- Peace, justice and strong institutions: Ethics and compliance program, featuring a whistle-blowing line to report such cases, and adequate treatment
- Partnerships for the goals: stakeholder engagement program, partnerships on dedicated topics material for the company
If your company would like to know more about how these actions can be quickly implemented, we remain at your entire disposal at email@example.com. You can also visit our website: http://www.dfge.de/en/sustainability-communications/ . To know more about the goals: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
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Tagged biodiversity, climate, company, Corporate, csr, decent work, Energy, ethics, gender, healthcare, hunger, inequalities, Management, poverty, reporting, SDG, SDGs, Sustainable development goals, sustainable procurement, training, UN, United Nations, WEC, World Environment Center