Firms need to address SDGs

3rd June 2016

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Agriculture ,
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation


Lisa Hopkinson

Businesses should identify how they are contributing to helping countries in which they operate achieve the UN sustainable development goals, a study by PwC has concluded.

In a survey of more than 1,400 chief executives, 87% of respondents predicted that, within five years, businesses would prioritise long-term over short-term profitability, and that customer and other stakeholder needs would become increasingly important in successful organisations. Long-term thinking required firms to assess how their operations affect achievement of the goals, PwC’s said in its analysis. As governments implement their plans, it was in the best interests of business to know how they helped or hindered the goals being achieved and to take action.

‘The sustainable development goals and the Paris agreement on climate change put difficult challenges under the spotlight and signal a switch from short- to long-term strategies to deliver change,’ said Malcolm Preston, global leader, sustainability and climate change, at PwC. ‘Significant investment will be required to tackle these major world issues and, in my view, business will be a critical player in their success.’

He said strategic planning should start now with a greater emphasis on many of the targets behind the goals: ‘Identifying early on how a company’s core operations impact a goal’s achievement is a key way to shift from a shareholder to wider stakeholder model. It will inform how a business can adapt its strategy and respond to changing expectations of its role, and could substantially reduce regulatory risk shocks and unpredictability.’

Some 80% of respondents said they were implementing changes to minimise the social and environmental impacts of their business operations, while 76% agreed that business success was about more than profit.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Hello and welcome to another edition of Transform. I hope that you’ve had a good and productive few months so far.

28th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close