(This article first appeared in TriplePundit.com)
I got a preview recently of the United Nations’ global goals for 2030, slated to be formally unveiled at their Social Good Summit in September. Presented by UN Foundation’s Aaron Sherinian at the annual Cause Marketing Forum, he laid out 17 (!) global goals knowing that many of the corporations in attendance are already working on a good number of them – and issued a call for us all to “lever up.” Here they are:
1. No Poverty
2. No Hunger
3. Good Health
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
7. Modern Energy
8. Good Jobs and Economic Growth
9. Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption
13. Protect the Planet
14. Life Below Water
15. Life Above Water
16. Peace and Justice
17. Partnerships for the Future
Of course all business makes some kind of social impact, intentionally or not, positive or not. This list demonstrates (again) that a company’s social impact extends well beyond charitable giving and cause marketing, although those are excellent places to start.
Look outside the four walls of your operations and think about the effect your business is having throughout the supply chain. Consider whether your business is practicing responsible consumption of water, as Pepsi and Coca Cola are doing now. Or on inequality as garment makers are.
Companies that get it – Eileen Fisher, Unilever, IBM, Colgate Palmolive, Panera and New Balance for instance – aren’t waiting to be regulated into thinking about these issues. These enterprises are working on all 17 in one way or another, And yet when asked what’s left to do, they will answer still so much more.
Everyone is invited and eligible to participate in the Social Good Summit. And you don’t need to go to New York to benchmark the social impact your business has. Start a conversation with senior leadership to explore performance of these 17-points. The process will engage teams across the enterprise and is guaranteed (yes, guaranteed) to make a greater positive social impact.