Sustainable Development Goals can feel a bit out of reach for the common individual, but companies may have the answer to help engage their employees onto climate action.
It would be foolish to deny the effects of climate change; in just a few years time the consequences of our changing climate and growing temperatures has become increasingly visible, although often disproportionately distributed across the globe.
Climate action is a necessity, and it is urgent. In fact, it should have always been a priority; but effective international cooperation needed to be established first.
As discussed in the Paris Agreement (2015) and further analyzed during the COP26 Summit in Glasgow (2021), the goals and targets determined by these multilateral agreements leave no other option than to put climate action at the forefront of decision making for governments, businesses, organizations and even individuals alike.
But what does taking climate action imply? And how can companies make a difference in advancing SDG13?
SDG13: An overview
Under the premise that climate change is an undeniable risk and threat to civilization and life as we know it, SDG13 is born to avoid, slow down or adapt to the catastrophic consequences of reckless human impact on our planet. But in the face of such overwhelming consequences, there is still room for innovation, modernization, job creation and overall greater prosperity across the globe.
The following 5 targets offer a broader understanding of what can be done to combat climate change from different areas and entities in our society, and also help establish a roadmap accompanied with guidelines or indicators that can more feasibly foster international coordination and cooperation:
- Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related disasters: three indicators can help us implement and measure changes to make resilience and adaptation a reality. First of, the number of national risk management and reduction strategies, as well as local ones which are aligned with the latter; on the other hand, follow the number of deaths, displacements, injuries and other consequences caused by natural disasters.
2. Integrate climate change measures into policy and planning: it refers to the communication and establishment of an integrated plan aiming to increase resilience and adaptability to the impacts of climate change. This is easily followed by looking at the number of countries adhered to multilateral agreements on climate change.
3. Build knowledge and capacity to meet climate change: Encourage and improve education and awareness on climate change, impact reduction, mitigation etc, at all levels of education. Followed by measuring how or if sustainable development education has been introduced into education policies, teacher education, student assessments etc.
4. Implement the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: The goal is to mobilize jointly $100 billion annually from all sources to address the needs of developing countries.
5. Promote mechanisms to raise capacity for planning and management: The goal is to help support and promote mechanisms for effective implementation of climate change management in least developed countries.
SDGs are good for business
Now that we have understood what the world looks at when measuring and promoting climate action, it is time to question the role of businesses in the achievement of this particular goal, as well as its contribution to SDGs as a whole.
Sustainable Development Goals are in fact inseparable from the business world, as they were developed thanks to input from this particular group, helping shape the sustainability agenda as we know it today. In the process they agreed to be held accountable for achieving the goals by 2030.
There is no denying the importance of the private sector given the potential for innovation and resource management. Nor is it difficult to argue that business is held to increasingly higher standards by the public, becoming one of the most trusted institutions in society, even beyond governments and media.
SDGs in the workplace
And although SDGs can sometimes feel too out of reach for the common individual, they are in fact a great long term planning guide, and a very effective starting point for engaging employees with sustainability.
Education and awareness for example can also take place in the workplace and become a great force for good, and there are tangible actions that can be taken in order to raise awareness and generate a positive impact:
Measure emissions in order to understand how to reduce them: Measuring and tracking emissions and other kinds of waste is the first step to understand what we are doing wrong in order to improve it. Improvement might look like energy consumption reduction, waste reduction, fighting obsolescence, switching to renewable energy sources etc.
Educate, raise awareness and take actions to involve employees: Education is the first step to everything in life, and it can and should happen as a continuous process of improving ourselves and our knowledge. There are many ways to encourage education and raise awareness on climate change and climate actions, from traditional training to more manageable technological products or services that help put individuals on the right path towards advancing the company’s sustainability strategy. But beyond educating the workforce, businesses can also take actions that ease employee’ engagement in sustainable practices, for example mobility plans, social actions…
Transparency is the key for engagement
We believe and work for transparency to be one of the key values driving the sustainable business transformation, as it is the only way to understand what we are doing wrong, what we are doing right and what it is that we are not doing yet.
Because being transparent is not only an externality to a company, or a given organization, to help build trust and reputation; it is in fact also a great learning and improvement mechanism. You cannot manage what you don’t understand. And so we advocate for transparency, integrity and precision as imperatives to the fight against today’s pending challenges.
In DoGood we are convinced of the need to understand and manage efforts to achieve a sustainable transition inside an organization for the correct and efficient functioning of the business and the community it operates in. We alone cannot achieve the substantial changes necessary, but we work on the basis of collaboration, transparency and accuracy in order to bring light to sustainable actions.
In this regard, it is essential to our work to promote good corporate governance, meaning that the processes of disclosure and transparency are followed so as to provide regulators and shareholders as well as the general public with precise and accurate information about the financial, operational and other aspects of the company, including a more accurate definition of the ESG performance.
We have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.
If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.