In 2015, the UK Government joined every other country worldwide and committed to Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and through it the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Goals provide a holistic framework that defines our global priorities and aspirations for 2030. They represent a crucial opportunity to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. Achieving the Goals requires an unprecedented effort across all aspects of society – and business sits at the heart of it.
The SDGs are not just another sustainability framework, but the only universally agreed blueprint to turn meaningful ambition into transformational change.
Yet, with just seven years to go and already halfway through the 2030 Agenda, we are far from achieving the Goals in the UK.
There is a multifaceted business case for smaller companies to embrace sustainability. Stakeholders – from regulators to investors to customers to employees – expect all companies to be improving their sustainability performance and they are ready to reward companies that embrace this agenda and punish those that do not.
However, SMEs consistently report difficulties with embedding the SDGs at the core of their business models.
The UN Global Compact Network UK, in partnership with Irwin Mitchell, has developed the SDG Playbook for SMEs: a step-by-step guide to help smaller companies unlock the competitive advantages associated with embracing the SDGs.