UK businesses positive about their role achieving SDGs

4th December 2019

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  • Sustainable Development Goals



Three-quarters of UK businesses believe that they have a role to play in delivering the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), new research from HSBC has uncovered.

After surveying over 9,000 companies across the world, HSBC also found that 28% of British firms believe they have a “significant“ role to play in delivering the SDGs.

And UK companies are more committed to the goals than those in any other European country, with just 58% of firms in Spain and France believing they have a role to play.

“It's encouraging to see that UK businesses are showing leadership to become more sustainable and make a long-term difference to their customers, employees and the local communities in which they operate,“ said Rob King, head of sustainable finance at HSBC.

Despite British firms being positive about the SDGs, it was also found that 28% are frustrated by inconsistent sustainability measurements and reporting frameworks.

The main reasons companies are choosing to become more sustainable are to improve operational efficiency, meet regulatory standards, and to gain a reputational advantage, according to the findings.

The survey also found that competitors, the government, regulators and employees are the main drivers pushing companies to become more sustainable.

Almost a third of businesses have identified investment in technology, innovation, and infrastructure as their top priority for helping deliver the SDGs.

Reducing waste was the next greatest priority cited, while costs remain the biggest challenge to adopting sustainable practices.

'We are increasingly seeing businesses incorporate sustainability goals into their strategic objectives and business models as they strive to make a change in the future,“ King added.

Image credit: UN


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