How will the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Affect the Future of Companies?
In 2015, the United Nations (UN) established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at creating a prosperous and thriving future for all communities, countries, and their people by 2030. Central to achieving these goals is the need for industries, companies, and organizations to adhere to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks and regulations.
Several of the SDGs, including goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), have a profound impact on businesses’ decision-making processes and investment strategies.
Now, let’s take a deep dive into these four goals and explore how they may shape the future of businesses.
Goal 8: Decent Work and and Economic Growth
One of the five factors identified by the UN that halt the advancement of SDGs is supply chain disruption caused by various events such as pandemics, natural disasters, conflicts, or economic barriers. Companies can take measures to prevent such events from drastically impairing their businesses, such as by administering risk management assessments to their suppliers, diversifying their suppliers, and setting a concrete communication network between their suppliers and product managers.
Failing to take appropriate action can lead to detrimental consequences that can affect businesses, such as quality reduction, product delays, and ultimately profit loss.
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
It is no secret that technology has significantly enhanced people’s lives worldwide and accelerated the growth of industries. The objective of this SDG is to promote sustainable and inclusive industrialization.
According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), “the number of people employed in renewable energy sectors is presently around 2.3 million.” To ensure sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices, it is crucial to adopt technology that enhances the wellbeing of employees while minimizing harm to the environment, especially given that technology has created job opportunities in this field.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already significant problem in many developing countries, where rural communities are experiencing a massive economic downturn. As a result, a large number of people are leaving these areas in search of refuge and economic opportunities elsewhere. The number of refugees across the world has reached an all time high. Rather than solely relying on governments and non-profit organizations, the private sector can play a significant role in reducing inequality and improving the current situation. Large corporations hold substantial sway in decision-making processes and can create business models that enhance working conditions, wages, and the lives of their employees, particularly those in developing countries.
While profitability remains the ultimate measure of success for businesses, investors are no longer solely interested in financially successful ventures. They are increasingly seeking to invest in companies that prioritize providing fair and humane working conditions for their employees and have a positive impact on the communities where they operate.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Cities, neighborhoods, and industrial areas are being built to work with the environment as opposed to cause a disruption. New start-ups and companies have emerged and use AI technology to plan transportation paths, and reduce costs and stress in crowded cities and areas, such as Optibus, a start-up based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Similarly, Nordnese, another company, “develops waste management solutions to provide ‘greener; cleaner, and smarter; waste collection’.”
Moreover, Olleco, located in the United Kingdom, has developed technology that can convert waste and leftover oil into renewable, reusable energy to fuel cities and promote a circular economy. Essentially, they are taking something that was meant to go to waste and are putting it back into the economic cycle.
Improving the lives of human beings and the planet is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Moving from the industrial era into one where new challenges no longer are defined by improving the lives of people has demanded the world change its strategy when it comes to how we do business. Technology, sustainable procedures, and healthy supply chain management are crucial to growing businesses.
How Findings Contributes to the UN’s SDGs:
Findings has contributed to these goals by providing businesses with a centralized platform for automating their risk management and supply chain compliance. Living up to these new standards can be challenging for companies whether they be small or large.
With Findings, customers can use our ESG assessments cost-effectively to monitor their suppliers’ carbon footprints to help achieve the UN’s SDGs. With one less thing to worry about, companies can focus on improving and growing their future for the sake of their success, their surrounding environment, and the planet.