Based on the principle of leaving no one behind, the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality. These Goals represent the largest ever call for collective action by governments, institutions, businesses and citizens. To achieve the SDGs and so build a sustainable future for everyone, it is essential to develop the positive impacts of business and mitigate the negative.
Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Map helps companies to navigate and contribute to the SDGs by identifying the key issues and explaining the actions and outcomes needed for businesses to achieve long-term financial value, enabling both society and the planet to thrive.
Responsible businesses meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (all SDGs).
- Understand where you are able to have the most impact by identifying those material issues that are of greatest importance to both commercial success and key stakeholders and the long-term benefit to society.
- Adopt a long-term view of natural and human capital creating a positive legacy to your leadership.
- Base investment decisions on long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability
- Nurture a generation of responsible future leaders.
Purpose and Values
Purpose-led businesses and brands moving from a ‘do less harm’ approach to one where they are a genuine force for positive change, creating competitive advantages, meeting changing customer needs and attracting, retaining and developing the best talent (SDG 8,9,10,16,17).
- Understand and articulate your purpose, conveying why your business exists and the impact it wants to have on the world.
- Change your business models to reach your purpose.
- Make sure your purpose guides and informs your commercial strategy, product range, innovation, new ways of working and workplace behaviours.
- A company’s purpose must be underpinned by its values, which determine the boundaries by which it operates and creates a culture of responsibility.
Governance and Transparency
Increased trust in business and enhanced belief in the potential for business to be a force for good. More loyal customers, ensuring licence to operate and increasing brand value. Well-informed decision making and confidence in leaders that contribute to economic sustainability (SDG16,17).
- As a business leader be inclusive and accountable, balancing short-term pressures with longer-term resilience.
- Checks and balances should be robust and strategy and operations transparent. This includes executive remuneration, board composition, accountability oversight, selection of pension funds and payment of the fair amount of taxes in all geographies.
- The highest standards need to be upheld across all operations, especially in countries of weak governance. This should be in line with national legislation wherever you operate, and on issues of public interest, you need to go beyond legislation and usual practices.
- Base reporting and decisions on data and facts to drive change and build trust.
Societal problems are resolved better and faster through policy dialogue and multisector partnerships as they generate innovation, play to each partner’s strengths and enable scalability of solutions (SDG 16, 17).
- Go beyond compliance and identify solutions that create value for society alongside the wider economic opportunity for your industry. Policy engagement enables you to influence the nature of the rules that govern
- the market.
- Engage in policy dialogue that upholds the interest of society.
- Be transparent and proactive in approaching public policy activities and align lobbying with your responsible values.