The SDG Advantage
Organizations stand to gain a lot from their engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Not only do enterprises play a vital role in achieving the UN’s 2030 agenda, but the many business benefits often go overlooked.
In 2015, Canada and the other 192 UN Member States adopted the 2030 agenda, which outlines 17 interlinked goals that were designed to meet the needs of the present without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to do so. The goals address a broad range of global issues while establishing specific, measurable targets for improvement. These targets are key considerations for enterprises, as they allow quantification of previously neglected environmental and social impact.
Sustainable Business Development
When we engage with the SDGs, we open doors to new market opportunities, talent, investments, and partnerships. Adoption of the SDGs encourages organizations to create shared value for all stakeholders including customers, employees, shareholders, and its communities.
Achieving the SDGs will improve environmental and social conditions surrounding the organization, as new perspectives bring a deeper understanding of an organization. Recognizing the goals and their significance will help businesses contribute to sustainable development in a way that bolsters innovation and financial performance.
Financing the SDGs
The UN estimates that $2.5 Trillion needs to be invested into the SDGs annually to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and currently, we are nowhere close to meeting this. The present is a crucial time for the climate, and we need citizens, businesses, and governments to make decisions that favour people and the planet.
GoParity aims to funnel investment dollars directly into the SDGs while engaging retail investors worldwide. Investors on the GoParity platform will be able to participate in the advancement of SDGs by aligning their portfolios with these global goals and measuring their social and environmental impact.
At GoParity, the SDGs are used in both internal and external business operations. First and foremost, the SDGs provide us with a guideline to determine what kind of positive impact we will support on our platform. Business initiatives that create a positive impact through supporting the SDGs are measured using our own model based on IRIS+, a standardized impact measurement and management system designed by the Global Impact Investing Network.
The process for assessing SDG integration in investments can be broken down into four steps:
- Screening investments for their potential to progress an SDG.
- Setting impact targets which support the SDG targets.
- Measure, report, and manage impact towards an SDG throughout the investment term.
- Measure and report the progress made towards the SDG at the end of the investment.
Internally, we use impactful and financial indicators to measure business performance, aligning internal success with progress towards the goals. Useful tools such as the B-Corp rating system allow us to gain new perspectives on our business and gain a deeper understanding of its operations. We also aim to increase awareness and progress towards the goals through educating businesses and individuals.
Social Enterprise Community
As new entrepreneurs, my other two cofounders and myself have been so fortunate to begin our startup journey in such a welcoming industry- and I’m not talking about finance. Businesses in the social enterprise community are unique because they prioritize achieving social and environmental goals rather than their own profits. It’s allowed us to engage with experienced professionals and leverage partnerships that could otherwise be competitors.
When initially working with the Portuguese team at GoParity – a social enterprise and B-Corp – we were able to get consistent help, feedback, and education about the industry before coming to any agreement about a future partnership. The attention and respect my co-founders and I have received made our transition into entrepreneurship so much easier.
Stay in the Loop
- Follow our Instagram @goparityca for a weekly post about the SDGs which can be permanently found on our SDG story highlight.
- Sign up for our newsletter on our website www.goparity.ca for sustainable development and investing-related content as well as updates about our upcoming launch.