Start small think big
Think of using the UN SDGs as a ‘North Star’ for sustainability that will create a path for your business to follow. The 17 goals are further split into 169 targets which helps to define a path, but you can’t follow them all at once. Start small with SDG13 Climate Action and start by retro-fitting LED lighting into your workplace. Think big by setting a target to reduce your carbon footprint by 50% in 2 years. The SDGs align business strategy with the needs of people and the planet. They can highlight areas for improvement and opportunities for product or service innovation and potential new markets.
SDG 13 – Climate Action
Let’s look at SDG13 and Climate Action and how you can relate that to your business. You can break it down into 3 key areas:
- the focus of the goal itself (the overview of what it plans to achieve)
- the key areas of your business to examine
- the solutions that your business can employ to take action on SDG13 Climate Action.
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Global temperatures are projected to rise by up to 3.2% by 2100
- Climate change continues to exacerbate the frequency and severity of natural disasters
- More than 39 million people were affected by natural disasters in 2018
- Investment in fossil fuels continues to be higher than investment in climate activities
Key areas to consider include:
- Energy efficiency
- Environmental investments
- Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions
- Risks and opportunities due to climate change
- Source all electricity your company consumes at its facilities from renewable sources, such as wind, solar or hydropower
- Install renewable energy generation capacity on-site
- Retrofit the lighting systems of your company’s facilities to energy efficient LEDs
- Increase investment in innovation to improve the efficiency of your business’s’s products. This will enable your customers to reduce their GHG emissions.
- Expand sustainable forest management through responsible sourcing practices
Think of the SDGs like a toolbox or a menu for sustainability practices for your business. Your business may already be contributing to the goals, either through CSR actions or employee well being programmes. For example, by reducing the company carbon footprint, you are working towards SDG13 Climate Action and by having a fair wage policy that works towards SDG5-Gender Equality and SDG8-Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Make sure to include training and education on the UN SDGs for your employees and get them to recognise the area you are focusing on, like Climate Action, and the SDG goal it relates to (SDG13). The ultimate aim is to integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals into your business strategy and use it as a blueprint for sustainability.