When we began the SDG Align journey we needed to spend time making sure our stakeholders were on the same page, sustainability was environmentally focussed and we needed to spend time developing a shared vision of a people centric view of sustainable development. this was time worth spending as those we were working with needed the understanding to begin their journey. since we set out public awareness has shifted, more a more people we meet for the first time already aware of the need.
Why sustainable development
Knowing what a sustainable future looked like also needed to be translated into why business would be interested. what is in it for me? Yes there were passionate people and some of these people were running businesses, large and small, but the majority were not yet there. Many acknowledged the need for action but why would business, particularly small business invest scarce resources and time into sut a global problem?
Doing business for good IS good for business
Throughout our journey we have focussed on this message with our association partners and their members. but why is it good for business?
The shift in consumer sentiment toward sustainable products services and business is rapidly accelerating. consumers are more likely to preference products that are sustainable or buy from businesses who they see as sustainable.
businesses increasingly require a social licence to operate, finding the balance between social, economic and environmental outcomes is no longer a board or management process but a public, transparent exercise that increasing requires data to support claims and build community confidence. and minimise the risk of ‘greenwashing’
Businesses of all sizes rely on their employees. attracting talent, particularly, younger generations, now requires a shared commitment to social justice, equality for all, climate and environmental change, and shared prosperity.
Businesses need to be aligned with their customers, employees, and community expectation to thrive.
A seismic shift is happening
Over the last couple of weeks I have very happy to seen many examples of businesses publicly embracing sustainable development and promoting their commitments. These examples are typically from larger corporates like Coles, Woolworths who, as a duopoly, are now competing not on price and range but on their impact on sustainability. Yes these corporate giants have whole teams identifying what they can do, how they can do it, what they report on, and how they will benefit from this messaging, small businesses don’t have this. How can small business do this without those resources behind them?
While Coles and Woolworths have the resources in-house, small business needs to rely on external help. that is where we come in. By working with peak bodies and associations to do this for their sectors we are producing a small business sustainable development toolkit to make contributing to a sustainable future accessible to small business. demystifying the complex and global world of sustainable development and helping small business make a difference through collective, local actions.
if you want to know how SDG Align can help your sector please reach out, we would love to help you on your journey to a sustainable future.