The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: The Foundation to a Sustainable Economy
I have recently started an internship with the Women in Business Club as a Marketing and Team Coordinator. One of the goals I set for myself was to introduce and attempt to incorporate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the Women in Business strategy. Due to the large following of the Women in Business Tribe (135K on Instagram), I knew that the impact of promoting the SDGs would not only influence the way we conduct business but also how our audience views the brand’s ethos.
This idea soon became a full on campaign that the Women in Business team decided to conduct with me being responsible for the blog post, social media copy, and the overall strategy of the campaign. I am happy to share with you the blog post utilized during the campaign (with some slight edits), and I hope that this will inspire you to educate yourself on the SDGs and how you can begin to follow them.
It is never too late to make a conscious effort at a sustainable business and a sustainable economy.
Women in Business Club and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
In a world which idolizes innovation and new technologies, it seems almost impossible that we have yet to find the solution to a sustainable economy and ecosystem. The United Nations (UN) has created The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which plans on creating actionable targets for people, the planet, prosperity, peace, and partnerships. The UN has created 17 targets called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help align the way we globally conduct business in a sustainable manner.
What are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?
According to the United Nations website, “The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” There are 17 SDGs which encompass topics such as; ending poverty, quality education, climate action, and life below water. The SDGs are a roadmap for companies and entrepreneurs to understand how they can make a positive impact on society by following these goals. All of the SDGs go hand in hand, and with the lofty goal of achieving them by 2030, it will take all business leaders, thinkers, and educators to change the way we practice business.
The SDGs are important to incorporate into the business world so that we as a society leave no one behind. The only way for the world to become truly sustainable is “to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere” (UN, 2020).
Women in Business Club and the Sustainable Development Goals
The Women in Business Club believes that their brand values and ethos align with the goals and aims of the SDGs. With the brand values being; compassion, collaboration, inclusiveness, integrity, excellence, and knowledge it is difficult to picture the Women in Business community not being involved with the SDGs.
It is believed that the integration of the SDGs into the business strategy will not only keep the brand focused on the bigger picture of full and total equality, but will also help the Women in Business members and followers see the good that sustainable business practices have. Building a community based around empowering women has always been their number one goal, but now it is time to share all of their goals with their audience.
One of the reasons the Women in Business Club decided to begin working on achieving the SDGs is because it saw the opportunity to impact their global community through education, equality and decent work standards, as well as partnerships.
This is why the Women in Business Club has decided to follow SDGs 4, 5, 8, and 17.
SDG 4: Quality Education- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
As a community based around training, educating, and supporting female entrepreneurs when learning new skills this was an easy decision for the Women in Business Club to follow SDG 4. The Women in Business community is composed of life long learners, eager to change the world with their entrepreneurial mindset and outlook. This means the brand will continue creating valuable training, resources and support the community with accessible information.
SDG 5: Gender Equality- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The brand name says it all, Women in Business Club! The organization is all about empowering female entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and walks of life to better society with their ideas and business opportunities. This means the core focus of their work will be to support the growth and prosperity of women in their careers, businesses and homes. The Women in Business Club also provides more opportunities of work and career choices through their education and community support.
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Since the Women in Business Club encompasses the delivery of quality education services, they also encourage and support members to achieve economic growth within their business endeavors. The Club actively supports and empowers women from all over the world with interactive trainings, workshops, workbooks, seminars, events, retreats, and in-person networking in order to foster more inclusivity and provide a support system for women. Within the Club the team hires team members with fair pay structures, as well as giving opportunities to work from home for moms and those who may not ordinarily have opportunities to work full time. They offer flexible and remote working as well as continued personal development and support.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
One aspect that the Women in Business Club will begin to follow is partnering with other organizations which either follow the SDGs or practice sustainable business models and have ethical business practices at their core. Only together will we be able to make impactful business decisions that will positively affect our global network and connections.
How will the SDGs Impact the Women in Business Community?
The SDGs will have a direct impact on the Women in Business community as the organization continues to provide quality education, support economic inclusion, and work with partners who are aligned in our values and ethos.
The Club will continue to invest in driving the professional and personal growth of their members by supporting all with valuable trainings and educational materials, which will encourage each members’ economic growth. This will then have a cycled effect where stronger business leaders will equate to stronger financial markets meaning that organizations will have the resources to recruit talent, invest in outreach programs, and research into more sustainable practices and business models.
The SDGs will not only help the Women in Business community with economic growth but also with a renewed focus. The Club wants its members to have a clear purpose, a common purpose and outcome that all can work on achieving together. The Tribe is a community and this is what communities do - support, collaborate, and encourage one another. When organizations focus on how their business practices affect the local and global community, then we can begin to focus on the purpose of that business in a sustainable economy.
“Fundamentally, the SDGs provide a historic moment for companies to take society’s challenges and leverage them as opportunities to enhance business growth and long term competitiveness” (EY Global, 2017).
How Can I Start Making a Difference?
If you are ready to contribute to building and supporting a sustainable global economy, create positive social impact, and have your business begin to focus on a lasting long-term business model, the best first step is to educate yourself. Learn more about the SDGs and your current business model. What is your business currently doing that could be improved? What SDGs would you be able to follow? Here are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by The United Nations that you may want to consider incorporating into your own business.
Are there any SDGs that you can work towards achieving? How can you influence your stakeholders to help you?
Any step is a powerful one as it means one more stride towards eradicating the world’s biggest challenges and creating a sustainable future.
As Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, said, “Will we succumb to chaos, division and inequality? Or will we right the wrongs of the past and move forward together, for the good of all?”