The historical opportunity for brands to become catalysts of sustainable change and how, by doing so, they will win in the long-term.
From the plastics conversation to eradicating hunger, from diversity and inclusion to parental leave, from access to basic healthcare and education to climate action. The conversations of the 21st century don’t fall short in importance and seem to keep gaining momentum.
After four decades of multilateral dialogue, the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was consolidated to provide clear guidance in order to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their own needs.
We have the knowledge and the resources to make significant progress – but are we acting fast enough? In this context, people all over the world take to the streets, to remind us that we are running out of time. Change needs to happen, and it needs to happen now. Is your brand ready?
The wake-up call
The shared sense of urgency is a cornerstone towards bolder, effective action – not only for the civil society, but also for governments and businesses. However, when we look into the 2030 Agenda, it is clear by now that no actor will be able to achieve the unprecedented ambition alone.
As repeatedly called out by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, “Engagement, especially with the private sector, with its enlightened self-interest, is imperative, for the 2030 Agenda to succeed”. We need to join forces. “And by the way”, highlights Paul Polman (ex-CEO of Unilever) at the 2019 SDG Business Forum, “it’s probably the biggest business opportunity that we’ve ever seen in the history of mankind”.
I cannot help but wonder: why are so many brands, then, missing out on the chance to lead the way into a sustainable future?
BY STEPHANIE HELOU
Design and Innovation Manager at FJORD. Driving innovation for Sustainable Development in the private sector.