SDG Align recognised for Social Impact with Australian Good Design Award


October 14th Sydney – Hobart – ‘SDG Align’s – Ready Reckoner Tool for Sustainable Development’ Recognised in Australia’s International Good Design Awards for Design Excellence.

The winners of Australia’s peak international design awards were announced today during the 2021 Good Design Awards Week. The Good Design Awards are the highest honour for design and innovation in the country and reward projects across 12 design disciplines and 30 subcategories.  SDG Align’s Sustainable Development Self-Assessment tool Ready Reckoner received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Social Impact category in recognition for outstanding design and innovation.

SG Align Ready Reckoner – Good Design Award – Social Impact – Winner -2021

“We are delighted to be winning such a prestigious award.  Our mission and vision is ambitious – our design and focus is all about creating the biggest impact we can.  We’ve only been in business for 18 months and have already touched many thousands of businesses through our partners.  Part of this success is good design and part is because this a problem that needs to be solved, for us all.  This award will really help us build the business and have greater social impact.”

David Morgen, Managing Director of SDG Align

The 2021 Good Design Awards attracted a record number of submissions with 933 design projects evaluated by more than 70 Australian and international Jurors, including designers, engineers, architects and thought leaders. Each entry was evaluated according to a strict set of design evaluation criteria which includes good design, design innovation and design impact. Projects recognised with an Australian Good Design Award demonstrate excellence in professional design and highlight the impact a design-led approach has on business success and social and environmental outcomes.

“Great to see the building industry embracing the UN SDGs and finding tangible ways to better understand and demonstrate their contributions towards the achievement of the SDGs. It makes the SDGs much more accessible and the assessment function is stand-out — helping businesses understand their strengths and weaknesses. This could have great impact — informing action. Well done.

The Good Design Awards Jury 2021

The Australian Good Design Awards is the country’s oldest and most prestigious international awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958. The Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian and international market, excellence in architectural design, precinct design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design, and reward new and emerging areas of design including design strategy, social impact design, design research and up-and-coming design talent in the Next Gen category.

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving an Australian Good Design Award is testament to embedding design excellence at the heart of a product, service, place or experience. Although 2021 continues to be another challenging year, it is incredibly inspiring to see designers and businesses working together to find innovative, customer-centric design solutions to local and global challenges and to see them recognised and rewarded for their efforts through these prestigious Awards.”

“The importance of embracing good design principles is now more important than ever as many businesses around the world have had to completely re-think their business strategies to remain competitive. The standard of design excellence represented in this year’s Awards is the best I’ve ever seen in my 25 years of running these Awards, an encouraging sign that the design sector is flourishing,” Dr. Gien went on to say.

About Good Design Australia and the Australian Good Design Awards

Good Design Australia is an international design promotion organisation responsible for managing Australia’s annual Good Design Awards and other signature design events. With a proud history that dates back to 1958, Good Design Australia remains committed to promoting the importance of design to business, industry, government and the general public and the critical role it plays in creating a better, safer and more prosperous world.

The narrative of sustainable development is shifting


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.

Why do we need a Climate Action Plan now?

On August 9th 2021, IPCC published its sixth Assessment report. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces a report every six years. The last report dates back to 2014. The world has changed a lot, we’ve experienced more extreme weather conditions than ever before, are in the middle of a global pandemic and our leaders committed to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. But still there is a large part of the global population that is not familiar with what is happening. The lack of familiarity with sustainable development and concrete and practical action plans stop a lot of people from moving in the right direction.

“The climate we experience in the future depends on our choices today”

Valerie Masson Delmotte – IPCC

Awareness of sustainable development

Like the many countries around the world Australia lags in awareness of what sustainable development means and what can be done about it.  This is highlighted in the level of action identified in the IPCC report but is not limited to environmental impacts.  Sustainable Development must also encompass social and economic impacts and must become a central part of day to day conversations and business considerations.

The built environment not only makes a significant contribution to environmental impacts but also houses Australia’s economic and social infrastructure. 

This means the built environment has significant opportunity to improve its efforts.  Ensuring all sectors of the value chain play their part and coordinate effort will be critical, be it government, business or employees.

Small business in the built environment

Small business, which make up 97% of businesses in Australia, are ideally situated to take action and contribute to positive change. Small business tends to be action oriented but, business owners however, are also often short of time and expertise in sustainability. It is in creating awareness of the opportunity in sustainable development that lies the opportunity for business owners and their staff to take up the challenge and change the way we do business.

Doing Business for Good is Good for Business

Small businesses need to consider not only the future benefit of sustainable development and climate action but the positive impact it can have on their businesses. Think about the impact small business can make by:

  • reducing input costs through more efficient products and processes
  • supporting local supply by buying & employing locally
  • minimising material costs by reducing waste
  • improving collective impact through collaboration

An important question to answer is: “What does sustainable development mean to you?
Please take a moment to participate in our poll.

Sector versus Industry approach to sustainable development

Many small businesses rely on their industry associations to provide leadership, tools and support and Sustainable Development support and guidance should be on your association’s agenda. If it is not then make some noise!

SDG Align is working with association across the built environment to develop and deploy tools to support and small business take action and would like to hear from you about what tools your sector needs.

When it comes to Climate Action all action is good but planned and coordinated action is better. Across the built environment many sectors feel siloed or disconnected from others. Coordinated action starts with aligning the stakeholders in the built environment cycle. Start thinking as a regenerative circle really is the beginning.

The built environment life cycle

Residential and commercial dwellings have a long lasting impact on the environment. Once a building is developed and constructed there is at least 50 to 100 years of managing and servicing (maintenance) of the building. Sustainable or Circular Building become more and more popular to minimise the impact buildings have during their life span on environment , society and economy. Green, efficient and liveable buildings are the future.

We have to redesign the way we plan, construct, manage and service residential and commercial buildings and the only way we can do it is together. Our experience with Building Designers Association of Australia, Strata Community Association and Consulting Surveyors National shows that together we can move forward. It is time to take action. Together.

The following section are a brief overview of the IPCC headline statements and images as shared during the IPCC press conference on Monday August 9th 2021.

IPCC Report Headline Statements: The Current State of the Climate

IPCC statements on the current state of the climate:

  • It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.
    Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have
  • The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state
    of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many
    thousands of years.
  • Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in
    every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as
    heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their
    attribution to human influence, has strengthened since the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).
  • Improved knowledge of climate processes, paleoclimate evidence and the response of the
    climate system to increasing radiative forcing gives a best estimate of equilibrium climate
    sensitivity of 3°C, with a narrower range compared to AR5.

Possible Climate Futures

Possible Climate futures statements from IPCC

  • Global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all
    emissions scenarios considered. Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded
    during the 21st century unless deep reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other
    greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.
  • Many changes in the climate system become larger in direct relation to increasing global
    warming. They include increases in the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine
    heatwaves, and heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions,
    and proportion of intense tropical cyclones, as well as reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow
    cover and permafrost.
  • Continued global warming is projected to further intensify the global water cycle, including
    its variability, global monsoon precipitation and the severity of wet and dry events
  • Under scenarios with increasing CO2 emissions, the ocean and land carbon sinks are
    projected to be less effective at slowing the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere.
  • Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for
    centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level.

Regional Impact on Global warming

IPCC Statements on Climate Information for Risk Assessment and Regional Adaptation

  • Natural drivers and internal variability will modulate human-caused changes, especially at
    regional scales and in the near term, with little effect on centennial global warming. These
    modulations are important to consider in planning for the full range of possible changes.
  • With further global warming, every region is projected to increasingly experience
    concurrent and multiple changes in climatic impact-drivers. Changes in several climatic
    impact-drivers would be more widespread at 2°C compared to 1.5°C global warming and
    even more widespread and/or pronounced for higher warming levels.
  • Low-likelihood outcomes, such as ice sheet collapse, abrupt ocean circulation changes,
    some compound extreme events and warming substantially larger than the assessed very
    likely range of future warming cannot be ruled out and are part of risk assessment.

Limiting Future Climate Change

Limiting Future Climate change scenario statements IPCC

  • From a physical science perspective, limiting human-induced global warming to a specific
    level requires limiting cumulative CO2 emissions, reaching at least net zero CO2
    emissions, along with strong reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions. Strong, rapid
    and sustained reductions in CH4 emissions would also limit the warming effect resulting
    from declining aerosol pollution and would improve air quality.
  • Scenarios with low or very low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (SSP1-1.9 and SSP1-
    2.6) lead within years to discernible effects on greenhouse gas and aerosol
    concentrations, and air quality, relative to high and very high GHG emissions scenarios
    (SSP3-7.0 or SSP5-8.5). Under these contrasting scenarios, discernible differences in
    trends of global surface temperature would begin to emerge from natural variability within
    around 20 years, and over longer time periods for many other climatic impact-drivers (high


SDG Align – Good Design Awards 2021 listing

SDG Align Ready Reckoner

We’re proud to announce that we’ve submitted our Double loop design and Ready Reckoner Prototype to the Good Design awards in the Social Impact category. The Overarching theme is “Design for a brighter future” and Sustainable development is becoming more and more recognised as an important direction for Australian business and design” states the chairman of the 2021 Design awards listing announcement

Doing business for good is good for business

The purpose of the Ready Reckoner is not only to start a conversation about what sustainable development means to your business but also provides valuable insights through the dashboard indicating the strengths and weaknesses of the business . The Ready Reckoner provides insights from two perspectives and seven dimensions:
1) Sustainable Development, measuring the current impact on social, economic and environmental dimensions
2) Balanced scorecard dimensions internal processes, finance, innovation & growth and customers & stakeholders.

SDG Align Ready Reckoner - environment

Associations leading the way to a sustainable future

We thank our commissioning partners Consulting Surveyors National, Building Design Association Australia and Strata Community Association and their Taskforce members for supporting the development of this innovative project for the Australian built environment.  

Timeline and Good Design Awards pitch

The jury will announce winners on September 17th so we have a few steps to go. You can find our listing here in the Good Design 2021 Gallery or just listen to our pitch in the video below.