Our planet is facing enormous economic, social and environmental challenges. To overcome them, governments around the world have reached an agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These goals represent an opportunity to eliminate social injustices such as poverty and push us to build a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable world. However, although this may seem to be the responsibility of governments and public entities alone, the reality is that it is the private sector, specifically private businesses, that are the major players in this scenario. A scenario that is both urgent and crucial.

Understand the SDG opportunity

Companies can use the SDGs to shape, manage and communicate their strategies, goals and activities.

Today’s global challenges represent market opportunities for those companies capable of developing innovative and effective solutions.

Furthermore, by integrating the sustainability factor into their value chain, companies can protect and create value for themselves.

Consumers are increasingly focusing their purchasing decisions on their perception of a company’s sustainability performance, and the SDGs are a well-known set of criteria that can help shape their opinion.

Another advantage of integrating the SDGs is to create aligned partnerships in terms of expectations. Strengthening relationships between stakeholders, customers or employees.

Define priorities

Defining our priorities as a company will help you target your efforts.

We recommend taking the value chain as a starting point to evaluate the impact and to be able to define the priorities. From the base of the supply and logistics of entry, throughout production and operations, into distribution, use and end-of-life of products or services.

In other words, perform a detailed analysis of each SDG at each stage of the value chain, mapping where impacts can be expected to be the greatest.

This will help to understand where you should direct your efforts. For each of the potentially high impact areas, you should establish indicators that express the relationship between the company’s activities and its impact on sustainable development, so that performance can be monitored.

Establish goals and objectives

Once you have identified these areas of potential impact, you must choose the SDGs that are most relevant to them.

It is recommended that you carefully consider your company’s level of ambition with respect to the goals. Ambitious targets tend to drive more impact and better performance than more modest targets.

Decisions made with respect to objectives will also have reputational implications. It is therefore advisable to publish all or some of the company’s objectives. This is a very effective communication tool, since they express in simple and practical terms the company’s aspirations in terms of sustainable development.

Build the SDGs into your processes

Depending on the nature of the company and its sustainability objectives, some functions will be more important than others.

There are numerous practices that lead to organizational change and support business integration, from raising awareness to utilizing the knowledge and inspiration received through external experts.

Many companies have established councils, boards, or working groups of sustainability, made up of people from different areas. This creates space for strategic discussions dedicated to sustainability priorities in line with the SDGs, which can be especially valuable in the early stages of business integration.

On the ClimateTrade marketplace, climate mitigation projects display the specific SDGs they are contributing to, helping companies align their carbon offsetting efforts with their SDG strategy. Register for free or contact our experts to know more.