6 Actions to Support Sustainable Development Goals (and the Advantages of Doing So)

May 27, 2022 by Leela Bozonelis

EDDM-ESG-SDG-CSR-Blog

The United Nations formally adopted what it calls its “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in 2015. The UN invited corporations and companies of all sizes to join its member states in a collaborative effort based on, in its own words, “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.”

The Sustainable Development Goals of the UN

But what are the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals? There are 17 of them in total:

  1. No poverty
  2. Zero hunger
  3. Good health and well-being
  4. Quality education
  5. Gender equality
  6. Clean water and sanitation
  7. Affordable and clean energy
  8. Decent work and economic growth
  9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  10. Reduced inequalities
  11. Sustainable cities and communities
  12. Responsible consumption and production
  13. Climate action
  14. Life below water
  15. Life on land
  16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
  17. Partnerships for the goals

Why your company should get involved

When a company actively works toward helping the UN achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, it promotes policies, best practices and solutions that solve problems that otherwise limit the company’s growth and increases risk.

For example, companies need skilled and competent employees, yet there are 250 million children and young adults worldwide not learning needed skills. And nearly 50% of children lack access to school. By getting involved with the UN’s efforts, your company can foster a skilled and highly educated workforce, improve your hiring pool and increase productivity with healthier, more efficient people.

Companies also face elevated risk from political uncertainly and environment stress. Specifically, climate change puts $2.2 trillion in economic output at risk.1 In other words, by supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, your company can help us all better manage the scarce natural resources, mitigate environmental disasters, overcome weak financial markets, and eliminate the social inequality that negatively impact profit and people alike.

Six actions to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

As a UN Business and Sustainable Development Commission Report stated, “Addressing social inequality and environmental stress will reduce political uncertainty, lowering business risks and multiplying return on investment.” Here are six actions you can take to do just that:

  1. Support the Sustainable Development Goals as “the right growth strategy” for the global business community
  2. Incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals applicable to your industry and business into your corporate strategy
  3. Collaborate with sector peers to fuel sustainable practices and drive business opportunities
  4. Work with policymakers to level the playing field
  5. Push for long-term sustainable investment
  6. Regain and build trust with consumers and workers by supporting equality, inclusivity and sustainability

How CSR and ESG programs can help your company

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals can create at least $12 trillion in opportunities for businesses and people.2 You can capitalize on some of this opportunity by committing to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and adhering to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. These are programs that are used to evaluate and share how aligned you are with relevant goals and how effective you are at driving positive change. These programs in turn can make you more attractive to both consumers and investors, meaning you can maintain or improve your profitability while addressing some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental concerns. And that’s because CSR and ESG programs provide transparency.

Benefits of showing action through a CSR program

  • 87% of consumers will buy from a company that advocates on an issue they care about3
  • 63% of Americans want companies to lead on social and environmental change4
  • 78% of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues4

Benefits of showing action through an ESG program

  • 86% of Millennials are interested in sustainable investing5
  • Millennials hold $200 billion in annual buying power4
  • ESG investing is estimated at $20 trillion6

How to learn more about starting or improving a CSR or ESG program

The best CSR and ESG programs are built on reliable insights into customers, suppliers and other third parties that interact with a business internally and externally. That’s because good profit comes from making the right strategic decisions regarding sustainability and ESG factors. Our due diligence and risk monitoring solutions provide datasets from an unmatched collection of sources and come with the functionality you need to get a better handle on the relationships that can impact your CSR audit and ESG score—for better or worse.

Learn more here about how you can support the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals and how our solutions can help you make a positive impact while still pursuing profit.

Sources
  1. Disparte, Dante. “If You Think Fighting Climate Change Will Be Expensive, Calculate the Cost of Letting It Happen,” Harvard Business Review. June 12, 2017. Accessed at: https://hbr.org/2017/06/if-you-think-fighting-climate-change-will-be-expensive-calculate-the-cost-of-letting-it-happen
  2. “Better Business, Better World,” UN Business & Sustainable Development Commission Report. January 2017. Accessed at: http://report.businesscommission.org/uploads/BetterBiz-BetterWorld_170215_012417.pdf
  3. “2017 Cone Communications CSR Study,” Cone Communications. January 2017. Accessed at: http://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2017-csr-study
  4. IBID
  5. Divine, John. “ESG Investing: 4 Important Facts, Stats and Debates in 2018,” U.S. News & World Report, April 4, 2018. Accessed at: https://money.usnews.com/investing/investing-101/articles/2018-04-04/esg-investing-4-important-facts-stats-and-debates-for-2018
  6. Kell, Georg. “The Remarkable Rise of ESG,” Forbes. July 11, 2018. Accessed at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgkell/2018/07/11/the-remarkable-rise-of-esg/#5a95f13c169