Agenda 2030 and companies: the goals and company tools to build a sustainable future
In building a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable world, Agenda 2030 considers companies among the most important players in implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which also cover energy issues.
Agenda 2030 and the SDGs
Agenda 2030 arose from an awareness, now shared internationally, of the fact that current economic and governance models are unsustainable, environmentally, economically and socially. It was approved on 25 September 2015 by the governments of the 193 UN member states.
Agenda 2030 and its 17 SDGs were therefore created to build a more sustainable future, by 2030.
The 17 Goals break down into 169 targets based on which every country will be periodically monitored by the UN.
The presentation of all the SDGs and related targets is available on the AsviS (Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile) website.
The SDGs are integrated and interdependent rather than “universal”, in the sense that all countries are called on to pursue them, contributing to the achievement of the following shared objectives at global level:
- Human dignity
- A healthy planet
- Fair and resilient societies
- Regional and global stability
- Economic prosperity
Specifically, Agenda 2030 is based on the five Ps:
- People. Ending poverty and hunger; ensuring dignity and equality; achieving gender equality.
- Prosperity. Guaranteeing prosperous and fulfilling lives in harmony with nature; targeting quality education and healthcare systems accessible to everyone.
- Peace. Promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
- Partnership. Building solid partnerships to achieve the Agenda’s Goals.
- Planet. Preserving ecosystems and combating climate change.
Agenda 2030 and companies
Every country is required to set out its own strategy to reach the SDGs and to report the results to the UN.
This requires the involvement of all stakeholders, including the public sector, civil society, associations, universities and research centres, as well as individual citizens and companies.
Companies in particular will play a key role in the sustainable transition in progress, as they are the economic driver of the countries themselves.
The objective is to align company strategies with the SDGs, so that companies can implement measures that have a positive impact on sustainable development, and at the same time, their business.
Companies that decide to incorporate SDGs within their policies will benefit from various advantages, in terms of development opportunities, growth and competitiveness, including:
- Innovation in their business, keeping it competitive and topical
- positioning themselves on the market and boosting their brand reputation
- attracting stakeholders, including investors increasingly geared towards sustainable investment
Undertaking actions truly geared towards Agenda 2030 also becomes a fundamental choice for companies, particularly in an environment like today’s, in which there is a widespread awareness (among public opinion, institutions and the various components of society) of the need for a new development model.
Useful tools for implementing Agenda 2030 in companies
The companies that decide to adhere to Agenda 2030 and incorporate the SDGs into their strategy can get support from various tools, including:
SDG Action Manager. Online platform launched by the UN Global Compact and B Lab, which supports companies worldwide free of charge in implementing and measuring the impact of their sustainability performance, assessing areas for improvement, critical issues and best practices, so that they can take action to help achieve the SDGs.
SDG Ambition. A six-month accelerator that aims to support participating companies of the UN Global Compact in setting ambitious corporate targets by integrating the 17 SDGs into core business management, unlocking business value, building business resilience, and enabling long-term growth. Subscriptions to take part close on 30 September 2021.
SDG Essentials for Business: presented by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), SDG Essentials for Business is an online guide exploring the themes of Agenda 2030 for all company types, from SMEs to multi-nationals.