On the 17th of February, DFGE co-animated a webinar on Sustainable Development Goals with the World Environment Center. For those who missed it, we summarize the main conclusions of the webinar in this article.
The webinar featured sustainability experts.
Elisa Tonda (Head of Business and Industry Unit, UNEP), Lorraine Francourt (Director, EH&S & Sustainability, EMEA & AP, The Dow Chemical Company), Wolfgang Berger (VP Business Development, DFGE- Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy) and Terry F. Yosie (President and CEO, World Environment Center) presented current trends on how companies are using the Sustainable Development Goals and on how companies can address them.
Main highlights from the webinar
(1) The SDGs are becoming important because they provide an internationally approved framework to address global challenges. Business has a vital interest in a world free from human suffering and environmental degradation and finds it essential that coordinated and measurable action takes place.
(2) Companies find value in using the SDG’s, e.g. because they help identify and meet societal expectations, especially in developing markets where the major growth opportunities lie.
(3) Companies such as Dow Chemical are already applying the SDGs. They have gone through intense stakeholder consultations (both internally and externally) and have now embedded their sustainability goal-setting-process into a structure that allows for measuring and reporting on the SDGs. Dow sets goals for each of the SDG’s but not for each indicator. Even less ambitious companies that address just a few goals would be coherent with the United Nation’s objective: every company should find its own way of contributing to the SDGs.
(4) Companies can align the SDGs with their business strategies and existing reporting frameworks such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact, and CDP responses. While the SDGs may have similar content to the aforementioned, these pre-existing initiatives and frameworks are generally more focused in certain areas. The SDGs are, instead, a framework to report on a company’s contribution to solve global challenges and enable a strategic perspective for companies that actively want to identify business opportunities for the common good.
A worldwide topic
It seems that companies show a deep interest in this topic. Slightly more than 100 sustainability experts attended the webinar. 74% were business representatives, while 26% were from academia, advisory firms, governments, and NGO’s. Geographical distribution was 49% from Europe, 38% from the US, 8% from Latin America and 5% from Northern Africa/Middle East/Pacific.
For more information, please consult: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs or our blog article on how to address SDGs: Companies are key to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. You can also directly consult us at