In September 2015, United Nations Member States adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (the UN SDGs). These Goals are a call to action by all countries – regardless of size or income – to promote economic prosperity while protecting those most vulnerable in our communities, as well as the environment. Having set a deadline of 2030, we now have less than 10 years to achieve the ambitious targets agreed to by 193 countries around the world.
The Goals target a range of issues, from zero hunger, no poverty and gender equality to industry, innovation and infrastructure, decent work and economic growth, and peace, justice and strong institutions. Under each Goal are specific targets (169 in total), and attached to each target are 2-3 specific indicators that are used to measure progress towards each target.
While the UN SDGs were approved by national governments, there is global consensus that they cannot achieve them alone. Everyone needs to help, especially those best positioned with the power and financial capacity to make things happen: companies.
Meanwhile, against this international imperative to push the UN SDG agenda inside companies, all around the globe these same companies are facing increasing pressure to operate sustainably from other stakeholders.
Investors, customers and employees are more informed on environmental, social and economic issues, and more than ever willing to put this into practice by reallocating investments, changing purchasing behaviour, and through employee activism.
Companies are starting to respond to these pressures by setting sustainability and social inclusion targets, and publicly reporting on the environmental impact of their operations.
For example, American apparel company Patagonia has plans to be carbon neutral by 2025, and Australian retail bank, Commonwealth Bank, has set a target to spend at least 3% of its domestic supplier budget with Indigenous businesses by 2024.
Ice-cream maker, Ben and Jerry’s, achieved Fairtrade certification for all of its ingredient products in 2014, and has adopted a new climate goal across its entire value chain to play its part in keeping global warming below 2ºC.
Patagonia, Commonwealth Bank, Ben and Jerry’s are examples of companies that have publicly set environmental and social inclusion targets.
While these are strong examples of companies that are committed to publicly disclosing their environmental, social and sustainability activities against key UN SDGs, they are unfortunately the exception rather than the rule. A report by consultancy.org estimates that only 40% of global companies report against the UN SDGs, with US companies lagging behind their international counterparts at 31%.
One barrier that many companies face in setting sustainability targets is measurement. In order to meet a target, you have to measure it. And this requires companies to know their impact, which requires a substantial investment of time, effort and resources. Sadly, most companies don’t capture this information which often leads to one of two outcomes: (a) they simply don’t report on these activities; or (b) they set vague or open-ended goals that cannot be reliably measured against.
This is where givvable helps.
Corporate clients can search a range of suppliers – from F&B to IT hardware to facilities management – understand their environmental, social and sustainable impact, and engage directly with them. The platform is free for suppliers to join.
“givvable gives the unique value proposition of sustainable, circular and social suppliers real air-time and gets them in front of companies wanting to ‘do good’ and make an impact through their spending”
On the corporate side, givvable creates a dashboard view of a client’s environmental, social and sustainable purchasing behavior and translates this into impact. For the first time, companies are able to understand the real impact that they make through their supply chains, and communicate this to their internal and external stakeholders.
And if understanding the impact of supply chains isn’t enough, covid-19 has exposed the fragility of them on a global scale. The current health crisis has forced businesses to focus on managing supplier risk, and many are doing this by diversifying and localizing supplier networks.
Together with the increasing focus on sustainability, this presents a unique opportunity for suppliers, especially small to medium sized ones, to fill-in-the gaps and establish themselves in the corporate supply chain.
The time is right to get into the Boardroom.
givvable currently has 3,500+ sustainable, circular and social suppliers, and a database of 300+ corporate clients. They are currently growing both their supplier and corporate networks, so if you are interested in joining register here if you are a supplier, and here if you are a corporate customer.
They are still social, despite the distance!