How to use the UN Sustainability Goals

The 17SDGs – getting practical…

To implement the policy level SDGs in your business is a daunting task —17 main goals and 169 sub-goals – it’s… a lot. Consider this though, The SDGs is a present to humanity from The United Nations, a present that could save us all — nothing less. If we, the human race, succeed in the implementation of the SDGs we will stand a much better chance of saving The Earth, and ourselves. Conclusive evidence points out that our current behaviour is not sustainable. The Earth is changing and we will have to change with it to ensure the survival of our kind. Admittedly this is a monumental, scary and hard undertaking. Demonstrating the will to implement the SDGs in your business is a step in the right direction, though. In this short text We’ll try to lay out a simple and practical approach to initiate the implementation of the SDGs in your business. 

The art of the possible 

The SDGs are complicated, the implementation time consuming – assessing your products one by one in relation to the SDGs will take time. It will require a huge effort from you and your employees. At first it will probably even have a negative impact on your revenue. That’s the bad stuff. Vastly more interesting is the good stuff. Your business will make an impact among ever more discerning consumers. Being strategic about Sustainability can change your game and tie your customers closer to your brand. Consumers are noticing changes in weather patterns, rising temperatues and water levels – even tropical style storms in Europe. As these events pile up, consumers become ever more frustrated and will feel the need to act responsibly. You can choose to answer this call and publicly demonstrate how your business will try to take on the challenge of the SDGs.

If we break down the message contained in the SDGs we’re — roughly speaking — left with “morality”, “responsibility” and “the will to act for the community” – or, Ethics. If you choose to act upon these, you could end up increasing the value of your brand. Here’s is how.

Let’s get started

Do what you can – Even the tiniest of changes is a step in the right direction. So, where do we start? Well, we want you to start small. Go for the easy targets and when you’ve nailed those — step up your game and reach for the more complex goals. This is what we want you to do:

STEP 1: Split up the goals in levels. 

The site provides a set of coloured cards outlining all goals and sub-goals. You can get the cards here: — click on “Target Media Cards” to download. 

STEP 2: Start small

Lay out the cards and pick the goals you feel comfortable with and figure out how you could reach even higher. Take for instance “gender equality” – does your business really perform well here or could you do even better?

STEP 3: Grow your efforts and share your results

Make a plan for improvement. Create a social media strategy to share your progress. And: Go.

STEP 4: Repeat step 1…

Share your results — with everyone

“Work together to direct consumers towards the most sustainable product.” This may sound less intuitive but in reality this activity would utilise the fact that Scandinavia already is a world leader in the implementation of the SDGs. Working together across industry sectors to implement the SDGs could create a common Scandinavian branding platform for our mutual benefit. Let’s take action and show the world that this can be done.

Being honest, accountable and transparent is possibly among the basics of future business ethics. A CSR strategy is no longer enough. Neither is a range of labels of excellence – “Fair Trade”, “Eco” and the like. Future business ethics need to be honest and demonstrate the narrative to prove it – anything else is merely a new strategy to sell more. To demonstrate honesty You’ll need to show your records, the consumer needs transparency to feel certain that the company is actually doing the right thing. You’ll need to generate trust in your efforts to become a sustainable business.

So, publicise your efforts to bring the SDGs into your business. Share your challenges, failures and successes with your customers, be open and transparent. We promise you that it will be worth the effort. After all, this is for the very future of mankind. Let us make 2019 matter — together.

Happy New Year…

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