The United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the year 2015 and the five major dimensions of the agenda include people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The beautiful and encouraging part of the UN-SDGs is Goal 17, which is partnership for the goals. This gives room for various businesses and sectors to collaborate for the achievement of the entire goals. With its slogan, “Leave no one behind”, all of business sectors have a great role to play in the achievement of these goals before the 2030 deadline.
Having established that, there are some strategies to consider in the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all businesses;
1. Green recovery from Covid-19 pandemic through Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy
By adopting the Bangkok Goals, Asia and the Pacific move forward with outlining how to achieve its comprehensive and ambitious sustainability and inclusion objectives, while reinforcing and contributing to ongoing global actions. The BCG economy model that integrates three economic approaches, where technology and innovation are used to create value, reduce waste, advance resource efficiency, and promote sustainable business models. It also calls for more holistic efforts to achieve more balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth, and steady recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Promotion of sustainable consumption and production (SCP)
According to research, about 45 percent of emissions are connected to the production, consumption and waste management. Therefore, business sectors are urged to reverse their actions to achieve a more sustainable world through implementation of the ten-year sustainable consumption and production framework in their respective businesses, sustainable management, as well as reduction in food waste, promotion of green public procurement practices, and promotion of sustainable tourism and lifestyles.
3. Integrating Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) into businesses
Environmental, social and governance is a term widely used to represent an organization's corporate financial interests that focus on sustainable and ethical impacts. Several leading companies use ESG to evaluate organizations and determine future financial performance. While ethical, sustainable and corporate governance are considered non-financial performance indicators, their role is to ensure accountability and systems to manage a corporation's impact, such as its carbon footprint.
Some of the sustainable actions that can be integrated in daily business activities include energy conservation, reduction in emissions, reduction in paper usage and conducting green meetings, which we are sure that most of us are doing. According to research, companies that engage in sustainability initiatives like energy conservation have reduction in general overhead costs. Interestingly, if well implemented, the company’s sustainability measurement and reporting would be rich which helps to promote the public image of the company.
As we all aware, conducting businesses with environmental, social and governance consideration becomes a new norm for companies worldwide. The ESG, is not only contributed to environment and the governance of a company, employee exposes to the ESG also can apply the experience and knowledge to their private lives, which helps to achieve the sustainable development goals.
It is time for businesses; those are not yet start to integrate sustainable approaches in their business, to act without hesitation as sustainability is not an option anymore but it is the only way to accomplish both business, society and environment.
Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) is a non-profit organization, focusing on environmental and sustainable development issues and closely collaborating with all partners to contribute to a number of environmental policies and meaningful sustainable development progress in Thailand.
Doris Ifeoma Ogueri, Ph.D., and Jeeranuch Sakkhamduang, Ph.D.
Thailand Environment Institute (TEI)