An in-depth look at the possibilities that the UN framework and the Paris Agreement offer. Is it really about actions instead of just stating they contribute to a better world?
Doing good is good for business
Three years ago, we saw the world deciding on a joint effort to lower the carbon emissions, culminating in the Paris Agreement. In that same year, 2015, a couple of months before the governments, some 1,500 companies from around the world and NGOs in an inclusive process agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to be reached in 2030. In the following years, we saw our world changing rapidly, with new governments being elected with different views on the Paris Agreement, natural disasters hitting us hard and the frontrunners among businesses increasingly putting out the message that doing good is good for business. The SDG framework is increasingly being seen as the overarching framework for demonstrating how a business can contribute to doing good. Through SDG13 it also involves the Paris Agreement.
In 2015, when the SDGs were adopted, 17% of business leaders planned to engage with the goals. In 2017, 75% of businesses participating in the UN Global Compact indicated they were planning to engage with the SDGs.
Written for use at country level however, measuring performance in the SDGs poses businesses with a challenge. In the last two years, several guides and support tools have been created to support businesses. But: do businesses really do good? Is it really about actions instead of just stating they contribute to a better world?
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