Putting local action at the heart of transformative global change
No one will be left behind. That was the purpose of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals when they were established by the United Nations back in 2015.
These 17 SDGs would help to create a safer, more equal and ultimately happier world. Tackling climate change, world hunger, poverty, gender equality just to name a few. All by 2030.
It’s 2022, and eight years remain. As the GSD 2020 report suggests, we are not on track to meet these targets. To speed up the pace of change we need businesses to apply the tactics of rapid response – evidenced during the pandemic – to address these global challenges.
The Covid-19 pandemic also demonstrated the importance of local issues and brought many communities closer together. Rather than fading away, that community spirit must now be galvanised – and channelled through local causes. From the frontline, these organisations have the trust of the people they serve but often lack the resources to deliver at scale.
Business has long overlooked the power of smaller, localised charities due to a lack of visibility and due diligence challenges. But collaboration between local causes and businesses seeking to demonstrate tangible impact is key to rapidly achieving all 17 SDGs.
Through our work with clients over the past decade, we’ve supported businesses to overcome many of these challenges, whilst helping local causes to specify and access what they need without significant resource. Through our platform we’ve been able to broker the relationships between causes and corporate partners, capturing the local data points to feed into ESG reporting.
For businesses targeting transformative action on the UN’s Goals, being able to identify and work with causes that are focused on themes, from Gender equality to responsible consumption and production, is an important enabler.
With time running out to achieve the 2030 target, every option available to strive for environmental and social improvements will be key. Rather than starting from scratch, we need to make use of the resources and networks already available to us – and localism provides a direct route to enact change.
In the UK alone, there are over 136,000 small charities and community groups. By connecting the local activity of these groups with the growing drive for responsible business behaviours, we have a much greater chance of achieving transformative change over the next eight years.
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