Sustainability should be one of the top considerations of businesses in 2022. As climate change continues to impact the core structures of the earth, businesses should review and adjust their plans, procedures, and if necessary focus, to ensure sustainability. Sustainability refers to meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In the context of business, we must learn how to move forward while lessening the environmental impact of corporate practices. Sustainability policies must be implemented and enforced to lower the risk that certain businesses can place on achieving our collective Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
“Business is a vital partner in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies can contribute through their core activities, and we ask companies everywhere to assess their impact, set ambitious goals, and communicate transparently about the results.”
Ban Ki-moon, former United Nations Secretary-General
The United Nations has enacted the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. These goals urge businesses to find solutions to arising global challenges. The SDGs bridge the gap between a business’ agenda and global well-being. This connection indicates that as entrepreneurs, we play a significant role that can have global implications. Our actions go far beyond ourselves. A company’s corporate social responsibility, business practices, or manufacturing process should be shaped around the SDGs. This focus can benefit a company in areas such as unique business opportunities, a global value, stronger stakeholder relations, and a shared sense of purpose. With the current zeitgeist geared towards sustainability, consumers are also drawn towards ethical, sustainable businesses. An authentic move towards sustainability is now a global focus. All eyes are on businesses’ responses to the drive towards sustainability.
The UN has provided a guide for businesses, aptly named the SDG Compass. This compass ensures companies abide by their local and global sustainable development policies, specifically larger multinational businesses. The SDG compass guides companies to understand the SDGs, define priorities, set goals, integrate sustainability goals, and transparency on their part to achieve sustainability.
Entrepreneurs must think about what can be done and what practices can be implemented to achieve the SDGs by the year 2030. Businesses must work to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships to Achieve the Goal
While a single business may not be able to target all of these goals, its focus should be on the ones that your business model can impact the most. A sustainable business will always adhere to the triple bottom line, a term coined by John Elkington. The triple bottom line consists of profits, people, and the planet. A sustainable business will earn profits by being socially responsible and protecting the planet. Sustainability will always have a cyclical effect, the most sustainable businesses are most equipped to remain upright while helping those around them.
Businesses Embracing Sustainability
"Sustainability has to be a way of life to be a way of business." - Anand Mahindra
We can look globally at businesses that have altruistically committed to Sustainable Development Goals. According to earth.org, here are the ten most sustainable businesses in existence currently. Businesses can look to their models and their actions and take examples of how to achieve sustainability:
Schneider Electric SE, France- 83.2%
Orsted A/S, Denmark- 82.7%
Banco do Brasil SA, Brazil- 81.7%
Neste Oyj, Finland- 80.7%
Stantec Inc, Canada- 80.5%
By glancing at the sustainability plans of these businesses, we may discover a blueprint to total sustainability and how to plan for the future.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the government has worked to implement Sustainable Development Goals. This clears the pathway for entrepreneurs to follow suit in incorporating sustainable practices in their endeavors. These policies include decent working conditions, empowering labor oversight bodies, bringing labor legislation up to date, and moving towards the Decent Work Agenda. The government’s main focus is that no one gets left behind in the race towards sustainable development.
Here is a list of great businesses committed to sustainability in Trinidad and Tobago:
1. El Pecos Grill
This company made the switch to biodegradable packaging in 2017.
2. Cocobel Chocolate
This local company uses locally grown, organic cocoa and transforms it into delectable treats!
3. Full Bloom Coffee
This brand uses ethically sourced organic coffee for its customers. Remember even a small difference can get us all towards the SDGs
4. Licka Lamp
This brand uses recycled liquor bottles to turn into beautiful lamp designs.
5. Oui! Scrubs
This organic body scrub business uses all-natural ingredients without any harmful dyes.