The Global Compact Network (Ghana and Kenya) held a webinar on February 25, 2021, in collaboration with B-Lab East Africa to discuss the need for businesses to align their strategies with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) using tools such as the SDG action manager.
Businesses play an important role in progressing the achievement of the SDGs. With less than a decade to 2030, companies need to change how they operate to hasten the global goals, remain competitive, and ensure longevity. The webinar elaborated on the SDGs as a framework to support businesses in making social, environmental, and economic impacts in their communities and industries.
The speakers for the webinar were Martin Ochieng, the group managing director of Sasini PLC in Kenya; Gladys Kivati, the co-founder of Sustainable Business Consulting in Kenya; and Robert Okine, the founder and CEO of Bewsys in Ghana.
The speakers shared why it is imperative to align business strategies to the SDGs for long-term success. They also highlighted tips on the best ways to leverage the SDG action manager’s functionalities and insights on their experiences on using the tool.
Martin Ochieng shared that “when you focus on the SDGs, it automatically becomes important to you and affects your performance. Because when it becomes part of your culture, you will not be able to succeed without it.”
The SDG action manager, a tool developed by the UN Global Compact in collaboration with B Lab, was introduced to the attendees. The tool is a web-based impact management solution that enables businesses to take action on the SDGs. It allows companies to set clear goals on the SDGs and benchmark progress against industry standards.
In sharing their experience about the SDG action manager, the speakers agreed that it is a great way to help an organisation identify which SDGs relate to their missions and how to prioritise them. Martin Ochieng said, “using the tool guides you in avoiding doubt about choosing a wrong goal to focus on.”
According to Robert Okine, the SDG action manager tool is critical to his company. Internally, we use the SDG action manager tool as an objective way to track our progress, determine and prioritise our next line of action. He also added the support from the UN Global Compact to assist organisations in aligning their businesses with the SDGs through resources such as the SDG Academy; employees can be well informed about the SDGs and support their achievement.
Gladys Kivati, in her concluding remarks, threw light on the critical factors to consider when selecting the SDGs you want your business to focus on. She said, “it’s not about the SDGs you choose to focus on, but on the quality and engagement you can establish”. Additionally, Robert mentioned that it increases your credibility with business partners once you align your business with the SDGs. We increasingly see companies in the private sector choosing to do business with organisations that create sustainable value beyond business as usual.
You can watch the recorded webinar here.