Most of you probably know the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s): 17 goals that form the blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. The goals are interconnected and have to be implemented by 2030. Governments are expected to take ownership to achieve the 17 Goals. However, the SDG’s also have an explicit role for businesses.
You probably see the importance of aligning your business strategy with the SDG’s. But where to start can be quite challenging, because there are 17 goals including 169 sub-targets (and even more topics!). However, when shifting your perspective and start seeing the SDGs as a collection of sustainability topics, they serve as the perfect way to start your materiality assessment.
Since the SDGs are a very broad way to look at sustainability, covering almost every topic within your value chain, they might also include sustainability topics that may have been overlooked previously. Therefore, when following the SDG’s as a basis for your materiality assessment, you will probably introduce additional considerations and expectations.
At CSR-Focus we guide you through the process to prioritize the SDG’s, their sub-targets, and the underlying topics. The prioritization is based on the impact – which can be both negative or positive - a topic has on the economy, the environment, or society at large times the influence your organization has on that topic. The weighted average of the two determines the priority of the topic for your organization. Since you will be asked to rate all the SDGs on their relevance for your operation and your value chain, this will minimize cherry-picking or SDG-washing, to avoid selecting only those SDGs that are easiest to reach or only represent a positive impact for your company.
After you have selected the most impactful SDG topics for your organization, you can start asking your stakeholders for their opinions. What SDG’s do they find most important for your organization, and why? You will also find out which topics are most important for the stakeholders themselves. By enriching your company’s insights and by starting the discussion with your stakeholders based on similarities and differences, the actual dialogue will be getting started. Time to increase your positive impacts and minimize your negative impacts, together!
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