How companies can take actions for the SDGs in 2021

January 29, 2021
5 min read
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The unforeseen health crisis in 2020 wiped out years of development gains in reducing social and economic inequalities and has set the world further back from achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. As we are still battling with the coronavirus pandemic, everyone’s support can help, from recycling to air-drying clothes. Though it may seem impossible that the average person can end hunger or fight inequalities, businesses can progress the goals’ achievement.  Therefore companies should consider modeling their operations to reflect sustainable principles. 

A primary step businesses can take is to align their business strategies with sustainable business practices, such as accessing their supply chain sustainability. By working with their suppliers to develop a more sustainable supply chain, companies can cut costs, manage risks better, generate new revenue sources, and boost their brand’s value. It is also a way to invite other businesses to integrate environmentally and socially viable practices from raw material extraction to product design and development. 

Additionally, educating employees about sustainable development is paramount in taking action for the SDGs. Empowering employees with tips and substantial reasons to partake in the 2030 Agenda can help develop and encourage a greener corporate culture transition.

The pandemic is leading to dramatic shifts in human activity that have translated to short-term cleaner air and water and emissions reductions around the world. By the end of 2020, a 6 percent decline in global greenhouse gas emissions was projected. Yet this significant interruption falls short of what is needed. Hence businesses that can shift to remote work will be doing the climate a lot of good. Working remotely ties in with seven of the SDGs. Employees can benefit from access to safe and affordable housing and be intentional in ensuring good health. Also, businesses can save more and carbon emissions will reduce as people will commute less. 

Another way is to engage with local communities at a grassroots level. Only targeting individual goals such as improving health care and minimising emissions is not enough. Emphasising human security and addressing a pattern of problems that affect their lives must become a core facet of corporations’ business models. Businesses can consider partnering with local communities to build resilient and stable societies socially, economically, and environmentally.

As we approach the 10-year countdown to the SDGs, businesses’ contributions to sustainable development will be significant in progressing the achievement of the goals. It is never too late to jump on the sustainability train. With these fundamental tips, we can fight the good fight to leave no behind by 2030.

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