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The Sustainable Development Goals: A Competitive Advantage for Business

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small or large business, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a powerful framework for your organisation by focusing on having a positive impact on social well-being and climate change. By integrating the SDGs into your business strategy, you gain access to important market opportunities in both developed and emerging economies.

The SDGs provide a unique opportunity for businesses to translate the world’s needs and ambitions into business solutions that will enable them to better mitigate against risks, anticipate consumer demand, build positions in growth markets, increase employer attractiveness, spawn investor interest, and strengthen their supply chains.

Still, many companies hesitate to tackle these goals and might miss some important business opportunities. So, what competitive advantages are gained by businesses that integrate the SDGs?

The opportunities associated with the SDGs

In simple terms, the SDGs highlight and address gaps in development across the globe that represent unmet market needs with the potential to drive competitive advantage. Consequently, businesses that don’t capitalise on this opportunity, are investing in yesterday’s markets instead of tomorrow’s.

As governments concentrate their policy and resources on meeting these needs, businesses can benefit from opportunities for innovating new products, services and business models. For example, green building and renewable energy projects make up a large proportion of investment by the private sector. When businesses understand how the SDGs impact their value chain, they are in a strong position to build resilience in an ever-challenging operational and regulatory context.

Tackling the SDGs is vital to building and strengthening stakeholder dialogue. Consistently and effectively communicating and reporting on sustainability efforts will drive stronger partnerships. Companies that neglect the issues run the risk of adversely impacting reputation and credibility.

Steps to integrate the SDGs into your business strategy​

Step 1: Define your company’s priorities and identify the relevant SDGs

Step 2: Set goals and specific targets

Step 3: Make practical decisions about how best to implement sustainable change within your organisation

Step 4: Report and communicate progress on SDG-related targets, whether positive or negative

Join our UN Sustainable Development Goals online course

We will help you move from awareness to action and provide your business with the resources to make a positive impact. Through our UN SDG online course, we are encouraging companies of all sizes to do business responsibly and find opportunities to innovate around sustainability.

Ready to take the first step? You can sign up here. If you need more information about our programmes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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