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How Companies Can Align Business Goals to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

sustainable development goals

The Global Goals

Individual actions create a certain impact in our environment – be it long term or short. The way we purchase products, reuse items, and reduce our waste contributes to the well being of our planet. In 2015, the United Nations created a road map to serve as a guide in determining the greatest issues we face universally, and how to solve them. The Sustainable Development Goals have been a topic of discussion for many years, each goal targets to either improve or mitigate a recurring global problem.

At Transformation, many of our current projects fall under a number of the Sustainable Development goals like: #9 Innovation and Infrastructure, #13 Climate Action, #14 Life on Land and #7 Affordable and Clean Energy. These guidelines are helpful in creating our vision and goals for our projects.

The SDGs have come a long way and the more they seek to progress, the more people around the world aim to create an effort that leads to an outcome that could benefit this globally advancing movement – from small businesses, to NGOs, and the government embracing the SDGs, these goals have greatly contributed to the world economy and markets paving way to measurable and impactful investments.

“In the world of social enterprise and impact investing, perhaps the most universally accepted guide is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Introduced in 2015, the 17 inter-connected goals now form an organizing principle for many entrepreneurs, as well as investors.” – Forbes

Read: How Companies Can Champion Sustainable Development

How Companies Can Align Their Business Goals to the Global Goals

Liesl Truscott, Director, European & Materials Strategy for Textile Exchange wrote an article that focused on how businesses can support these global agendas and notes how every year, her company “publishes a Material Change Index

that tracks the fashion industry’s progress toward more sustainable materials sourcing, as well as alignment with global efforts such as the SDGs and the transition to a circular economy” urging other businesses to be inspired to also take action by creating a similar positive impact with the global agenda in mind. 

She further notes key actions on how to align company goals and strategy to the SDGs:

1. Embed into business

Each business has its own unique models and strategies that best fit their organizational goals. In order to see a sustainably impactful result, these company goals must be intertwined with the global agenda and it must start with ensuring that all stakeholders are participating in ensuring the implementation of these goals from creating the strategies to taking action.

2. Leveraging spheres of influence

It is important that organizations determine what SDG they are most passionate about, as this will establish not only the strategies, models and actions their companies will take, it will also determine their priorities. Although all of the goals create an important impact, companies may be inclined to take more action based on what they see as top priorities, which significantly opens up opportunities to cement relationships with other organizations, suppliers and investors.

Truscott prompts us to keep in mind that it is essential we see each goal may be different but are interconnected, and to be careful that we create impact without harming the other goals.

3. Partner for change

With the Global Goals alignment to business strategies, implementing actions require collaboration and several partnerships. This not only tackles solving the unique challenges, but it also creates awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals to other businesses, individuals and organizations. Such entities can then be encouraged to take action and participate in these alignments and global movements.


The time to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals is now, and any contribution you or your business can give to help solve current and future issues can determine the success of these global initiatives. However, in doing so, it is important that these goals are communicated properly to all stakeholders, that it may serve as a guide to identify which SDG can be best prioritized and assess the best actions to take to deliver the most sustainable and positive impact.

If you’re interested in learning about Transformation’s work and how we’re aligning with the SDG’s, feel free to reach out:

March 18, 2020

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