Why SDGs matter to your organisation and how you can contribute

Why SDGs matter to your organisation and how you can contribute

Published November 22, 2023

4 minute read

Every leader’s goal is to protect their organisation from risk and secure more stable and productive growth in their industry. How can you make this a reality? One way is by integrating the United SDGs into your company strategy. What does SDG stand for? Sustainable Development Goals. 

This blog will explain how you and team members at your organisation can work together to achieve these goals to benefit your business through greater opportunities.  

Keep reading to uncover: 

  • What are the sustainable development goals? 
  • How many sustainable development goals are there? 
  • Why does this matter for your organisation? 
  • 3 ways your organisation can contribute 

What are the sustainable development goals?

Let’s start at the very beginning. In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The objective of these goals is to help make the world a brighter place for humanity and future generations.  

193 countries have committed to achieving these goals by doing what they can to carry out actions to end poverty and hunger, provide quality education and access to clean water, fight climate change, and much more by the year 2030.  

This is not the responsibility of just one country, but of many coming together as a unit to truly make a difference across the globe.  

How many sustainable development goals are there?

In total, there are 17 sustainable development goals, 169 targets, as well as 7,777 actions. Each of these universal goals and targets was carefully chosen as these are the current challenges plaguing our world today. 

Take a look at all 17 goals below:   

UN Sustainability Development Goals

It’s important to note that each goal does not exist in a vacuum, as initiatives towards one will have an effect on others. That’s why it’s so important to think of the SDGs as interconnected, as we will not be able to truly make a positive change in the world without accomplishing all 17 goals. 

Why does this matter for your organisation?

So, how do business and sustainable development goals connect? The private sector in each of these 193 counties plays an important role in helping to achieve these 169 targets and 17 goals. For instance, businesses can do their part to carry out sustainable consumption and production initiatives, while protecting the environment and surrounding ecosystems. This contributes to both goals 12 and 15 respectively. No matter the size of your business or the industry you work in, your organisation can make a difference. 

Not only will your organisation be doing its part to help tackle these universal challenges, but it could also benefit your business. According to the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, $12 trillion worth of market opportunities could result from accomplishing the United Nation’s SDGs by 2030. 

It could also benefit your organisation by staying ahead of any risk which the sustainability development goals address. Climate change or global instability, for instance, could affect your supply chain which could ultimately affect the productivity and stability of your business. For example, let’s say that you are working in a company which sources some vital parts for your product from an area which has just experienced a hurricane. You will not be able to receive these parts for some time, depending on how much damage the supplier faced. Helping to do your part to help reduce climate change, for instance, will make these risky events less likely.  

person picking up a bottle from the sand

Keeping your investors happy and attracting others to your business is another benefit businesses may experience. In fact, ESG-mandated assets amounting to $35 trillion (this equates to more than the GDP of the entire United States/European Union!), could account for 50% of investments managed professionally by 2025. This is because investors tend to see higher returns with companies who have a strong sustainability record, as they are less risky and tend to think long term.  

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The bottom line? Doing what you can to help achieve these goals is a win-win on all sides. Ready to get started? 

3 ways your organisation can contribute to achieving the SDGs

With 2030 fast approaching, there are several ways your organisation can contribute to the UN sustainability development goals. If you are located in California, for instance, you may have heard about the two climate disclosure bills, SB 253 the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act and SB 261, Greenhouse gases: climate-related financial risk, which were recently signed. This places a greater focus on businesses submitting sustainability reporting which contributes to goal 13.  

  The following are three actions your business can take right now:  

1. Establish your goals

The first thing you need to do is establish your organisation’s goals. Focus on one or two goals that you believe you can implement initiatives towards and dedicate yourself to. Examples of this could be  completing sustainability reporting in the form of GHG emissions or carbon accounting (goal 13), and/or providing employment and business opportunities to those in your region (goal 8).  

2. Measure your progress

Next, you must be able to measure and analyse your progress to achieving the goals you set in the first step. This is necessary to help achieve your targets and show transparency to investors or external members who may be looking at your metrics. If you are working towards goal 13 on climate action for instance, one way you can do this is through sustainability reporting by submitting your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reports or carbon reports (more on this later!).  

3. Work with others

Another step your business can take right now is by working with other businesses in your area. This can help amplify the positive metrics towards achieving these goals. Consider working with customers, investors, suppliers, governmental or regional bodies that are working towards achieving the same SDGs you are. Not only will this help bring awareness to others of the sustainability development goals and what they are, but it will also help increase the chances that the country you are in plays its part in achieving these 17 goals. 

Ready to take the first step towards sustainability reporting?

With ESG and sustainability global initiatives and mandatory compliance on the rise, we can help you work towards achieving goal 13. Our new eBook, GHG Reporting: How to Keep Your Investors and the Environment Happy, covers what greenhouse gases are, who needs to submit these reports as well the benefits of doing so.  

We also outline guidance on how to complete these reports and provide tips for a successful approach from our very own head of sustainability! Ready to do your part?  

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Author Dina Adlouni

Dina is a Content Marketing Manager at EcoOnline who has been writing about health and safety, ESG and sustainability, as well as chemical safety for the past four years. She regularly collaborates with internal subject matter experts to create relevant and insightful content.

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