CEO, Chambers Ireland
A sustainability strategy for your business is no longer optional – it’s fundamentally necessary. The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide an ideal framework to develop yours.
Action by companies to engage in sustainable practices is no longer simply a nice-to-have, it is now a critical component of global efforts to secure the future health of our planet and the stability of our economies. Increasingly companies are also finding that actions they take can contribute significantly to their businesses in areas such as improved customer and staff satisfaction.
This message is finding its way into more boardrooms by the day, leading to an increase in hires for sustainability-focused roles and a bigger share of strategic conversations. For those looking to create or further develop their sustainability strategy, the UN Development Goals (SDGs) can provide an ideal framework.
There are 17 SDGs in total, each dedicated to a specific area of social, economic or environmental development.
Using the SDGs
There are 17 SDGs in total, each dedicated to a specific area of social, economic or environmental development. Though they can be treated independently, many are interconnected.
For example, to achieve greater gender equality, your business might implement a flexible working scheme to allow parents to spend more time at home with their children, thus reducing the childcaring burden that often falls on women. This will lead to happier, more productive employees while also reducing carbon emissions from staff commuting to work five days each week.
In this case, one initiative will positively impact on four Goals: Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing; Goal 5: Gender Equality; Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; and Goal 13: Climate Action.
Looking to the future
The UN SDGs have set 2030 as a deadline to achieve their targets. That means now is the ideal time to start your work to build a more sustainable business and benefit from the advantages which will arise – happier staff, more loyal customers, more business won and a better society for all.
In 2019, the Chambers Ireland network pledged to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals through our policies and have seen first-hand how beneficial it can be to use them as a strategic framework. If you are still working on your approach to sustainability, the SDGs provide the perfect foundation to develop your strategy, safeguard the health of our planet and create a future we can be proud of.