SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: What They Are And Why They Matter

By Linda Morris Kelley, Principal and Enterprise Ecologist, Transitioning to Green

When employees—in any position—find meaning and value in their work, they engage at higher levels of professionalism, contribution, and yes, caring. Not surprisingly, people in every generation have wanted good work, work that pays a living wage, work that they can feel good about doing. In short, employees want to be engaged. Yet, according to a recent Gallup poll, “companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.” Here’s the kicker though. 87% of employees worldwide report they are not engaged at work! 1 While other generations of workers may have tolerated holding a job that held no meaning for them, Millennials are unwilling to do so. They want to work for a purpose as well as a paycheck. They want to have the satisfaction that they are valued as persons and that the work they contribute makes a difference. They are not interested in merely putting in time until retirement. If they are not engaged, and only 29% of Millennials report that they are, they are willing to hop jobs until they find one with a purpose worthy of their efforts.2

This is a real problem for businesses that remain focused on single-bottom-line profits as their measure of success while at the same time the future of their business depends on engaging and retaining Millennial employees. It’s expected that Millennials will make up half the workforce by 2020. They will be not only the employees but also account for a large percent of the purchases of goods and services. And, Millennials believe business should be a driver in addressing important global challenges. How is your company addressing this shift? Does your company have a strategy in place? 3

A growing number of businesses are adopting a framework for business development that they believe is an engine for engaging their employees as well as their customers with work that will stimulate business growth and make the world a better place at the same time. It is the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, laid out in 17 Sustainable Development Goals (October 21, 2015).4

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, says,

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the fundamental cornerstone to secure future economic and business growth by eradicating poverty in an inclusive way, while protecting the environment.

It is not possible to have a strong, functioning business in a world of increasing inequality, poverty and climate change. Business has the unique opportunity to embrace the SDG agenda and recognise it as a driver of business strategies, innovation and investment decisions.5

According to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report on sustainability (2015)5, just 29% of companies are even setting goals, and only 13% have a good grasp of the tools they might need to develop the strategy and implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their business.6

Now that you have some idea about why the SDGs matter, what exactly are they? Please watch the slideshow below. If you find that you want to be one of the companies that realizes benefits in terms of more engaged employees, enhanced reputation, as well as growth in new revenue, please contact us at info@transitioningtogreen.com

17 Sustainable Development Goals

1 http://www.gallup.com/services/190118/engaged-workplace.aspx?utm_source=gbj&utm_medium=copy&utm_campaign=20160511-gbj

2 http://www.gallup.com/reports/189830/millennials-work-live.aspx

http://corporate-citizenship.com/wp-content/uploads/Advancing-the-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Business-Action-and-Millennials-Views.pdf

4 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E

5 http://businesscommission.org/index.php?p=our-work/sustainable-development-isnt-just-doing-the-right-thing-its-good-business-sense

6 https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/sustainability/SDG/SDG%20Research_FINAL.pdf

 


FIVE KEYS TO UNLOCK HUMAN POTENTIAL and SOLVE OUR MOST INTRACTABLE PROBLEMS

By Jeana Wirtenberg, PhD, President and CEO of Transitioning to Green

With talented business people squarely in the driver’s seat, I believe we can create an inspiring, engaging path to solving our most intractable problems. As the corporate agenda moves from reducing harm to acknowledging the critically important role business plays in the well-being of society, the new agenda will be based on shared value for sustainable progress. First we need to unlock and unleash the incredibly talented people in organizations who want purpose, passion, challenge, and meaning in their work. Given the statistics on lack of engagement of workers worldwide, we are sitting on a remarkable, underutilized pool of talent that must be applied to designing businesses that actually increase prosperity for all.

I firmly believe we can align the aspirational goals of business and society by creating environments where all the talent — millennials, GenXers, and baby boomers alike — are engaged in purposeful and meaningful work. Here are five keys to doing just that.  Read more on HUFFPOST BUSINESS, Great Work Cultures…


THE ROLE OF BUSINESS AT COP21

Insights from Climate Week NYC 2015

Effectively combating climate change is imperative in achieving a more sustainable world. Therefore, Trina Mallik from Transitioning to Green attended four key events at Climate Week NYC 2015. Each of these events focused on the role of business in affecting positive change and successful outcomes at COP21 in Paris. Her report provides highlights, takeaways, and major insights that can illuminate the essential role that business is already playing, and help create the necessary momentum to translate that potential into reality on a global scale.

Against the backdrop of the Pope also talking about climate change, countries submitting their climate change plans in the lead up to Paris, including the shock and awe of China announcing a cap and trade plan to begin in 2017, it was definitely an exciting week.

The Climate Group’s Climate Week NYC, which occurs every year to coincide with the UN’s General Assembly, where 150 world leaders meet, took place this year from September 21-28. This year’s General Assembly focused on the development of the Sustainable Development Goals, the successor to the Millennium Development Goals, which includes action on climate change. Furthermore, in December 2015 there will be the UN conference in Paris to negotiate a global agreement on climate change policy. The excitement is sky high that this year the outcome will live up to the enormity of the problem.

Climate Week NYC 2015 aimed to magnify action on climate change and acceleration to a low carbon economy. The week long events held throughout New York City once again impressed with its high profile speakers and platform for all stakeholders to come together on one issue- climate change.

Main takeaways were: …READ MORE