World leaders met at the headquarters of the United Nations, in New York, to celebrate the 2015 Summit for Sustainable Development, in which the 2030 Agenda was approved. It is composed of a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (ODS), covering economic, social and environmental issues intended to improve the quality of people´s lives and, consequently, benefit society and the planet.
The SDGs are based on the results of the Millennium Development Goals, adding factors such as climate change, innovation, sustainable consumption, economic inequality, peace and justice, among other priorities. Additionally, since the objectives are linked, achieving success in one will facilitate compliance in the rest.
Although the SDGs are not legally binding, there are global efforts to achieve their implementation. It is expected that governments, civil society and the private sector will adopt sustainable development objectives and establish alliances, policies and programs that will allow them to transpire.
The SDGs recognize the role of the private sector as the driving force behind economic growth and the generation of employment. They also represent a source of creativity and technological innovation.
That said, knowing the impact that the private sector has on society’s development, and considering the 2030 World Agenda, there are practical measures that allow organizations to insert the SDGs into their business strategy, as cited below.
- Understanding the scope of the SDGs: the company needs to become familiar with the SDGs, know the purpose of each objective and the goals associated with it. It also involves identifying the opportunities and responsibilities that must be assumed, individually and collectively, by the company.
- Prioritize: the company must prioritize the ODS relevant to the organization, identify their impact and determine which ones it has the capacity to execute. This estimation allows the organization to know with which processes, technologies or products it can presently contribute to the SDGs, as well as which areas of its activity can be improved.
- Establish objectives: once the SDGs have been prioritized, the next step is to transform them into business objectives, integrated into the business strategy. The alignment of strategy with SDGs is a demonstration of senior management’s commitment to sustainable development.
- Integrate: sustainability must be integrated into the company’s administration and purpose. Incorporating sustainable development goals into the functions at the different levels of the organization is essential.
The Sustainable Development Goals promote universal implementation of measures to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and guarantee peace and prosperity for all people.