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New Online Solution Will Measure Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals
The new year will bring a new online tool to unleash the collective power of the Certified B Corporation community as it tackles the world’s biggest challenges over the coming decade. B Lab partnered with the U.N. Global Compact to develop the online tool, known as the SDG Action Manager, which will be launched in January 2020.
The SDG Action Manager will help companies build a better world by measuring their progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the U.N. member states in 2015 as a call to action to leave no one behind by 2030. While many of the SDGs focus on our planet’s health, these goals also address rising inequality and poverty as threats to world peace and touch on issues that require businesses to rethink their approaches to value generation.
“Without business action, there is no achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” says B Lab’s Laura Velez Villa, who is overseeing B Lab’s collaboration with the UNGC on the SDG Action Manager.
The business case for action on the SDGs is strong: By working toward and achieving the SDGs by 2030, businesses in four sectors — food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being — could realize $12 trillion in market opportunities as well as a healthier future for our global community, according to a 2017 report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission.
Using the free SDG Action Manager, companies will be able to:
- Get a clear view of how their operations, supply chain, and business model create positive impact.
- Take action and track progress toward the SDGs.
- Focus business efforts and collaborate with colleagues.
- Join a global movement of companies working to build a better world by 2030.
In addition, B Impact Assessment users will be able to comprehensive, stakeholder-based view with a more focused look at their performance on the SDGs (look for more on this in an upcoming B the Change article!).
The SDG Action Manager will be available in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. This impact management tool is informed by the work and feedback of a range of stakeholders, including experts in corporate sustainability, civil society, and academia, and is inspired by the B Corp community and participating companies of the U.N. Global Compact.
Sign up online for SDG Action Manager updates, beta testing opportunities, and official launch date information.
B Lab recently announced the SDG Action Manager at four events around the world: in Mendoza, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and London.
At the Los Angeles B Corp Champions Retreat event in September 2019, Velez Villa of B Lab urged B Corps to consider which of the ambitious SDGs align with their work and meet them “with equally bold and collective business action.” She challenged B Corp leaders to write commitments to achieve the SDGs and take that message back to their colleagues.
“We have just 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, a global initiative to create a shared, durable prosperity for all people. This really is a shared responsibility,” Velez Villa says. “Consider which goals your business is prepared to take meaningful action on over the next decade. These are ambitious goals. They need to be met with equally bold and collective business action. If not now, when? If not the B Corp community, who?”
The SDG vision calls for a deep transformation in which business must not only participate but lead — going beyond mapping business as usual to the SDGs, to rethinking business models and using a collective voice to ignite further action.
B Corps Pledge Action
At each event, businesses in the B Economy were encouraged to build a better world by pledging action during the next decade on the SDGs that align with their business operations. Here are a few of those pledges:
Kim Fuller, founder and CEO of B Corp Phil Communications, Montreal, Canada
“Phil’s taking action on the SDGs because we feel it is an anchor for our work. We work exclusively with charities and purpose-driven organizations. It’s a way for us to pool our energies and our ideas behind something that the whole world is participating in, and it has a specific, measurable deadline. So we’re really excited to get behind them, both behind our clients’ work and the work we can do as a company.”
Kristin Hull, founder, CEO and CIO of B Corp Nia Impact Capital
“The field of impact investing really needs some guidelines and parameters. So providing the Sustainable Development Goals adds a framework for us to be able to both target and measure our investments.”
Andy Keller, CEO and president of B Corp ChicoBag
“We’re committed to Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water. Our mission is to help humanity bag the single-use habit. That means keeping plastic out of the ocean. Plastic in our oceans are causing untold harm to our ecosystem and the oceans, which are the ‘lungs’ of our planet.”
Karen Fassio, director of product marketing at Microsoft and co-founder of Women in Cloud
“The commitment I’m making is to take action. There’s a lot of work that we can do in tech to support these SDGs. There’s a lot of awareness that we need to build in tech around how we can participate in this initiative, and a lot of solutions that tech can provide so that we can actually work together, taking collective action to make a difference.”
How are B Corps already addressing the SDGs? Learn more:
- How the Sustainable Development Goals Provide a Framework for Impact-Minded Businesses
- How the SDGs Help Businesses Effectively Measure and Collaborate to Address the Climate Crisis
- Ethical Fashion Accessories That Incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals
- All About the Sustainable Development Goals: Get Up-to-Speed on Agenda 2030
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
A Call to Action for Businesses to Build a Better World was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.