What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were initiated at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, with the intent of creating a set of universal goals that met the world’s urgent environmental, political and economic challenges.
The SDGs play a critical role in focusing business, civil society and governments on a set of common goals to address key global challenges. Connecting your business objectives to the goals may be overwhelming at first glance, but it’s important to remember the 17 SDGs are intentionally high-level in nature to ensure they are broadly applicable.
Similarly, while it is not expected that companies can align their goals with all 17 SDGs, they are expected to identify which goals are most relevant to their business and where they have an opportunity to contribute to the goals through the full value chain of their business. It is therefore important to approach the SDGs in an attentive and streamlined manner to ensure you focus in on areas where your actions have real and tangible impacts.
Best practice for business action on SDGs - our approach and services
We have developed this short guide on the steps your business can follow to identify which goals are most relevant to your business, and how you can set targets against these to drive measurable impact.
Step 1: SDG value chain mapping
We recommend starting this process by scanning each of the locations you operate in, as well as key supplier locations, against the risks associated with the SDGs. We do this through our RiskHorizonTM tool, which aggregates over 100 of the world’s most credible data sets to profile risk and/or opportunities related to various global locations.
This scan (or perhaps a scaled-down version for businesses with less complex value chains) will help you assess the relevance of each SDG against your entire value chain, taking into consideration the relevant country’s and city’s SDG performance and opportunities. From here you should have a qualitative ranking of risks to refine your focus on the relevant SDGs for your company
Step 2: Alignment with SDG targets
Download our two page resource for steps 2, 3 and 4 and more information on how you can act on SDGs.