Reflections on our first Sustainable Development Toolkit deployments


As we conclude 2021, our first full calendar year of operations  I’d like to reflect on what we’ve learnt and share some of our lessens with you.

Validating our riskiest assumptions 

During  the last quarter of 2020 we went on a journey with over sixty stakeholders from three leading industry associations in the Australian built environment. A broad range of small, medium, large and corporate business executives with a basic interest in sustainable development. 

Five step bold vision

We started this journey with the assumption that all businesses are doing something in relation to sustainable development but very few know how to do more.  We got that one right.  Our Ready reckoner self-assessment data showed an overall consistency across all level of business. 

  • most businesses want to commit to sustainable development, but just don’t know how to translate the complex international frameworks into their day-to-day operations. 
  • Visualising  what a business already does in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals motivates business owners and staff to take a next step, 

The lesson to be learned from this is that even businesses that trade on a for purpose platform want to do more and not just to please their customers.  

Businesses run on plans, procedures and processes – it is clear from our early deployments that putting sustainable development into these is the key determinant of changed behaviour.   Take some time to reflect, get inspired by how you can contribute to sustainable development by adding it to your business horizon or create a Bold Vision Canvas with your team. 

Making sustainable development a business habit

Our second assumption was that businesses want to measure their activity and see how they compare to others.  Compare it with wearing a sportswatch to see how you perform as you work out to stay healthy. The jury is still out on this one. 

We have altered our thinking a little, and concluded that adapting behaviour establishes change with more lasting impact than chasing rewards through measurement.  Our data tells us which areas of sustainable development are top of mind for the small business community, we now have measures on this but without individual business action, our impact has not met its intention. 

We are very proud to be working with leading academics from the University of Western Australia and Monash University on this and we will bring you more news on that in 2022.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Our final reflection is the importance of SDG Goal 17 Partnerships for the goals.  A systemic shift needs to occur at societal, business and industry/government levels.  The process has many dimensions, like the Rubik’s Cube, changing one dimension creates a change in the other dimensions. The importance of engaging the business community and its entire value chain cannot be understated.  

We look forward to working with you in 2022 and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas break!

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.