The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an articulation of the worlds most pressing social, environmental and economic issues.
They are a brilliant tool to start you on a journey to understanding impact in relation to your business and how you can become more sustainable.
It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to sustainability, but we can help you kick-start the conversation using the SDGs. The SDGs were endorsed by all 193 United Nations member states in 2015 and have since become a measure of progress for participating countries.
Although it’s worth remembering that SDGs were designed for nations (not businesses) the global understanding of SDGs makes them a valuable tool for communicating a business's approach to ESG (environmental, social and governance) matters.
When applied correctly by businesses SDGs can help to foster transparency and accountability, in addition to giving clarity to external stakeholders such as customers and investors. And internally, they can prompt constructive discussion and guide decision-making.
Going through the Impact Mapping exercise will enable you to understand the areas of your process which:
1. Generate a positive impact; and
2. Pose a risk to people and planet.
This will include:
A workshop session with you and relevant members of your team to out line the context of the SDGs and shortlist the SDGs which are most applicable to your business.
A process map that shows which SDGs are most relevant at each stage in your process, also highlighting your most significant SDG(s).
A guidance document which outlines the SDG Targets which are most relevant to your business, the types of business activities which contribute to the impact generated under these SDGs and examples of measures which could be used to track and report progress against your key SDGs.
This will enable you and your team to develop an understanding of the impact your business has on people and planet and increase your confidence when talking about sustainability.
You'll also be able to use your shortlisted SDGs as a basis to start impact reporting, so you can track and communicate your progress. I can help you with this too!
How can I help?...
Integrating the SDGs into your Impact Reporting
Impact reporting is the most important tool to enable you to continuously increase the postitive impact you create.
Internal impact reporting allows you to clearly communicate your impact objectives to your team. When done well, it also highlights if you are off track, giving you the opportunity to course correct, so you can achieve the ambitious impact targets you've set.
External impact reporting showcases all the impact you've created over a defined period (typically a year) and distils it down in a way that's easy to understand and share with your key stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers or potential investors. This not only encourages loyalty as stakeholders can relate to your vision but also enables your stakeholders to support you to further increase your impact.
The SDGs can help to bring your impact reporting to life due to their global recognition. I can help you develop an approach to impact reporting which leverages the SDGs in a way that adds value for your business and stimulates healthy discussions around your contributions to sustainable development.