Rui Veras, EACD Board Member, and Marketing and Communication Manager at TotalEnergies Corbion.

Here’s the link to the report.

On behalf of the EACD, I would like to thank Fourtold for conducting this research within our community. With increasing importance placed on corporate transparency and accountability, effectively engaging with stakeholders on ESG issues can help drive sustainability strategies, that in turn can positively impact the global agenda on issues like the climate crisis and inequality.

Underpinning this trend is the growing number of organisations and businesses recognising the value of working towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically their potential to protect and enhance their license to operate, innovate and grow. As a collection of 17 interlinked global goals set up in 2015, the SDGs are designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030, to address global challenges including those related to inequality, poverty, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.

As a new ethical social contract, the UN Global Compact (1) asks companies to first do business responsibly and then pursue opportunities to solve societal challenges through business innovation and collaboration. According to the SDG Compass (the guide for business on the SDGs), the aim is to redirect global public and private investment flows towards the challenges they represent. This will further grow markets and ease access to capital for companies that can offer relevant technologies and solutions through sustainable and inclusive business models.

All companies can play a role no matter how large or small, regardless of their industry. The scale and scope of the global goals are unprecedented, but businesses are uniquely placed to contribute by engaging with consumers and their supply chains. And transparency is fast becoming the new paradigm for conducting business. It underlies Target 12.6 of the SDGs – to encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability information into their reporting.

The motivation behind businesses and organisations aligning with the SDG’s are diverse, but they certainly provide a common global language. And, when companies rally behind the same goals it is easier to make progress and find partnerships between actors that might not otherwise have been possible. Effective and strategic stakeholder engagement plays a vital role in ensuring successful collaboration and outcomes on this.

In working towards the SDGs, companies, organisations, and new partnerships and business models are driving the change our societies need to not only survive but thrive. From small to big corporations, being a good sustainable global ‘citizen’ and communicating that fact can only have a positive impact. And from the inside out, from internal to external communication, our discipline is responding by evolving to adapt to the new technologies – including social media platforms – that shape and improve the way we communicate.

(1) The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to undertake partnerships in support of UN goals.

Here’s the link to the report.