An editorial article in Sustainable Growth, Day of German Unity Special, 2020
The United Nations has adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015 which cover all dimensions of sustainability – social, environmental and economic – in equal measure. All companies are called upon to make their contribution.
“Transforming our World: The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development” has five action-guiding principles that are of absolute priority: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The aim is to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people can live in peace and prosperity from 2030 at the latest. In this context, companies have great responsibility as they are the drivers of these goals. They have to go beyond the minimum legal requirements enforced by the government to achieve sustainment growth without any detrimental effects to the environment.
Companies can contribute to the SDGs in areas such as fighting poverty, ensuring food security & addressing climate change when they implement management systems and conduct audits. In addition to complying with regulations, optimizing processes and achieving continuous performance improvement, they can make the world a better place.
Standards as Support for the SDGs
Among all the standards, the management system standards of the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) are very popular and can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
For example, companies that require practical tools to manage environmental responsibilities, the ISO 14000 family, can contribute to Goals 6, 7 and 13.
For social responsibility, ISO 26000 Guidelines for the Establishment of a Supporting System for Social Responsibility or SA8000 (Management System for Social Responsibility and the Fulfilment of Appropriate Working Conditions) address the SDGs 1 to 16. Standards such as ISO 27001 for information security, ISO 22301 for business continuity, ISO 37001 against corruption & ISO 28000 for the supply chain are pillars to achieve greater sustainability.
Address Climate Change and Meet Climate Agenda
Greenhouse Gas Programs under ISO 14064, Singapore Carbon Pricing Act and Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation allow businesses to take actions to quantify & reduce their carbon emission and ultimately aim to attain carbon neutrality status. With these, companies can adhere to regulatory requirements and mitigate climate change impacts at the same time.
TÜV SÜD Supports Companies in Their Commitment to the SDGs
For us at TÜV SÜD, sustainability is a central corporate value and part of our vision. We, too, feel committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies of all sizes across industries can contribute to the SDGs through appropriate certifications by an internationally accredited certification body for various management systems such as TÜV SÜD. In doing so, businesses can ensure quality in their products and services and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, enabling them to achieve competitive advantage and attract talents who want to join companies that correspond to their core values.
This article was originally published in Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SGC)'s Sustainable Growth, Day of German Unity, 2020, Special Publication.
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