SDG Align makes the 17 SDGs accessible to companies of all sizes

SDG Align

Sustainable Development Goals - the United Nations. SDG. 3D Rendered Illustration SDG Icons Symbols for Presentation Article, Website Report, Brochure, Poster for NGO or Social Movements. 2030.

Here’s a company, based in Hobart but working internationally, that can help your business understand its contribution to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, measure progress and plan for impact. And it’s just won the top gong in the prestigious Good Design Awards, just to assure you’re in excellent hands.

Hobart-based start up, SDG Align helps businesses in the built environment understand where they are at in terms of sustainable development and understand what to do next in order to reap the benefits of doing business for good, through access to their custom designed, award-winning software.

Laid out in 2015, the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a global benchmark to unite industry and government in achieving greater outcomes for the planet and those on it.

The built environment has a key role to play in this, having a major impact environmentally, as well as being where the majority of Australians live, work, educate and generally exist.

SDG Align’s Willem Overbosch

“What we do with our software is we help businesses to get that broader perspective, get aligned with those broader goals, and then set them on the journey towards sustainable development,” SDG Align’s Willem Overbosch said.

The first step is establishing what businesses are already contributing to the SDGs — as the team has found, “no business is doing nothing”.  SDG Align measures how habitual sustainable development is to a business — habit forming behaviour that establishes change.

“They’re all doing something, they’re just not necessarily recognising it as contributing to a sustainable future. They’re not reporting it, they’re not measuring it and they’re not promoting it,” SDG Align’s Jeremy Rose said.

The self-assessment process delivers a custom dashboard, displaying areas where businesses are doing well and where there is room for improvement, including a suite of priority actions across social, economic and environmental areas.

“Obviously climate action is very high on the list, but we’ve found from a social perspective business interest is also very strong in areas like modern slavery, ethical procurement, and supply chains,” Jeremy said

“There’s also a lot of interest regarding consumer sentiment and understanding how to meet consumer expectations, and there’s a lot of opportunity around diversity and inclusiveness.”

Jeremy Rose speaking at the MIPFM conference, 2019

Recommendations go deep on areas businesses might wish to focus on, making it easy to follow a specific path of excellence in areas like circular economy, employee wellbeing and so on.

The company’s Ready Reckoner Tool for Sustainable Development took out the top gong for social impact at this year’s Good Design Awards, Australia’s most prestigious international awards for design and innovation.

The judges commented that, “it makes the SDGs much more accessible and the assessment function is stand-out — helping businesses understand their strengths and weaknesses. This could have great impact — informing action.”

The success of the company over the past 18 months in many ways comes down to its European (Dutch) and Australian founders, combining decades of experience across change management, business, technology, training and the SDGs themselves.

Early partnerships with the Building Designers Association of Australia, Strata Communities Australia, Monash University and Microsoft are proof that SDG Align is already having an impact.

Businesses that adopt the SDGs see a return, from customers who are increasingly demanding more social responsibility and are willing to pay for it, as well as better staff satisfaction, performance and retention.

And as we all know, investing in SDG aligned assets is becoming less of a nice to have, and more of a necessity to keep shareholders happy come reporting season.

“The journey is to make businesses aware and assist them on a journey of sustainable development being a habit addressing not just of the challenge we all face, but the opportunity that it presents,” Jeremy said.

“‘Doing business for good is good for business.”

Take SDG Align’s What sustainable development means to you survey

SDG Align

Consultants | Tasmania