“Caesar’s wife must not only be honest” We have all heard or used this phrase on more than one occasion. And in these times it is more applicable than ever: we live in the era of transparency, social networking, hyperconnectivity and overexposure… And if you don’t do so, then is too bad: sure you’ll want to hide something.
The point is that a company should not only be a good company, but that it should be able to show it off without a hitch. And besides, publicising it usually has good consequences. Or at least that is what the specialists in reputation and brand value marketing argue.
But simply saying that a company is good is not usually very helpful: there are too many scandals associated with false advertising. That is why third-party verification, quality seals and other certification systems are used.
As the business world is very rich, a multitude of options have emerged and often confuse rather than clarify: one has to be an expert to know the scope and meaning of even the best known ones. Sometimes having the right seal is a great advantage, and not having it can indicate that you are late.
Are the SDGs one of this set? Absolutely not. Because the SDGs are essenntially a conceptual framework on which to classify the impact of our activity on Humanity and the Planet. In addition to the 169 goals that if achieved would mean a significant improvement in the lives of billions of people as well as the rest of the living beings on the planet. Both present and future.
What is the use of SDGs for business? As already mentioned, they are the framework within which the company must analyse itself, throughout its value chain, to see how it can help to achieve the goals. And also to understand how the changes in society needed to achieve the goals will affect it, so that it can prepare itself and benefit from them, thus obtaining a double benefit: to achieve the SDGs faster and to be an active part of the process.
The verification and certification of products, services… will be a great help to show everyone, including the company’s own employees, that actions are being taken to improve; but the key is the commitment of the whole company to become a leader in the race for sustainable development. That is the best seal.