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4 Ways Companies Can Advance Sustainable Development Goals - The Business Advisor

Creating a Globe of Good: Four Ways Companies Can Make a Difference

We are all interconnected. The past months have revealed how local events can rapidly create waves on a global scale. In a constantly-changing environment, adaptability is the lifeforce of any company. Likewise, business transformations create ripples of change that shape our world.

In pursuit of a better future for all, the United Nations presents us with a road map through its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These address the global challenges we currently face, including those related to health, the economy, justice, and the environment. To enact change, all sectors of society need to participate—and businesses play a vital role in the process.

There are various areas where a purpose-led organization can advance the SDGs. Here, we illustrate the four pillars of sustainability that your company can use as a guide in making a difference in the world.

Human Sustainability

In a nutshell, human sustainability ensures an individual's access to basic needs. It includes efforts to preserve and improve the quality of human life—from health and nutrition to education and skills development.

These days, one of the biggest challenges we face is the COVID-19 pandemic. As human survival is at stake, we see a collective action from various organizations to quell its spread. 

Take Ayala Land, for instance. To speed up identifying carriers of the virus, the company transformed part of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) headquarters into a testing facility. This center can process nearly 3,000 tests per day with a two-hour waiting time for batch results.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights the importance of water and sanitation during outbreaks. In acknowledgment, Manila Water deployed drinking water and hygiene kits to public hospitals, local government units, and university dormitories.

At present, Globe Telecom is rolling out programs to help employees, subscribers, and the community. Recognizing the people's need for unhampered access to information, the company immediately adjusted payment schemes so customers can stay connected. Currently, it is providing free public internet service and toll-free access to relevant government hotlines. Donation drives are also done to strengthen efforts to aid frontliners and various supporting foundations.

The advancement of human sustainability goes beyond conquering urgent health crises or natural calamities. Businesses can also join forces with other organizations to create a greater positive impact on human well-being. For example, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation engages with WHO, government institutions, and top schools and universities to campaign for mental wellness. Its 24/7 toll-free HOPELINE is readily available for people seeking help and support.

Companies can also focus on a single, solvable problem to make a world of difference. A non-governmental organization (NGO), Smile Train, offers free comprehensive cleft care to children born with a cleft lip/palate. It taps corporate partnerships and celebrity endorsements to give these children new smiles and second chances at life.

Social Sustainability

If human sustainability focuses on the individual, social sustainability encompasses the relationship among individuals. It champions equality and relates to programs that ultimately contribute to nation-building.

Integrity and values play key roles in transforming business models for the future. Diversity, inclusion, and empowerment are becoming integral parts of cultures around the world, and this translates to the workplace as well. Companies must transform into a people-centric organization to strengthen its foundation, which consists of its employees. 

True to its mission of creating a wonderful world, Globe continues to provide equal opportunities for all. One of its significant breakthroughs for the LGBTQ+ community is the provision of equal benefits to the legal dependents of same-sex couples. This resonates well with the company’s recent move to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Forward-thinking business leaders see the value of investing in the next generation. When the youth feel supported in pursuing things they love, they become inspired to excel in other areas as well. For this, Globe has TM Sports Para sa Bayan to give underprivileged kids an avenue to reach their dreams via athletic activities. This program empowers students with passion, purpose, and discipline—traits that they can carry through life.

Economic Sustainability

If social sustainability promotes equal rights and opportunities, economic sustainability aims for an improved standard of living. Businesses can thrive here with efficient use of assets to develop a global good.

Consider the industry of your business. Are there areas in need of solutions where you can innovate and deliver? Technological enterprises, for example, can collaborate with both private and government units to advance digital transformations in the country.

Digital technologies can accelerate processes and drive progress for global goals. Platforms, like KonsultaMD and GCash, are effectively able to further health and economic goals, respectively, all while keeping carbon emissions at a low range. 

For instance, KonsultaMD helps address the challenge of full capacity within hospitals and clinics caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. By providing the public with access to primary medical information through mobile or landline calls, the company is encouraging the decrease of foot traffic and allowing staff within medical institutions to focus on critical patients.

GCash centers on financial inclusion by enabling fast and secure cashless transactions through mobile phones. With this, Filipinos can pay bills, make online purchases, and send or receive money from anywhere in the world.

In the field of education, Global Filipino Schools (GFS) utilizes broadband connectivity to elevate public schools to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) standards. Another initiative that helps shape responsible digital citizens of tomorrow is the Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP). Its award-winning workshops increase the youth's awareness of their online behavior and empower them with the knowledge of how the online world affects the choices that they make.

Environmental Sustainability

Finally, we move to environmental sustainability, the pillar that advances issues on carbon footprint, marine life, renewable energy, and ecological restoration. The resounding call for urgent climate action leads companies to optimize business processes for a greener world.

As businesses grow and progress, innovation may bring about unintended consequences to the environment. The UN Global Compact recognizes this and encourages companies to act responsibly. Natural resources provide raw materials in every company's supply chain. It is, therefore, the responsibility of any business to promote its preservation.

Rainforests, the "lungs of the planet," are one of the most widely affected resources. One quick win for the preservation of trees is a shift to paperless billing for viewing customer accounts. Companies can also partner with organizations like Hineleban Foundation to promote reforestation, environmental conservation, and sustainable farming practices.

E-waste may be harder to eliminate, so initiatives such as Project 1 Phone help recover and recycle broken mobile phones, chargers, and other electronic devices, so those do not end up in landfills, or worse, channel chemicals into water systems.

When it comes to life in water, companies can host independent coastal cleanups. For a more significant impact, it is also a good idea to team up with organizations, like Save Philippine Seas, to protect the country's rich yet vulnerable marine and coastal resources.

Pivoting for Sustainability

Businesses are formed to address a need. In an era struggling with climate issues, political tensions, health crises, and evolving work cultures, companies have the power to step in and step up; there is no better time than now to produce change.

Large organizations have a social responsibility not just because it is a necessity, but also because they have the resources to create an impact. Companies can debunk the notion that efforts on sustainable development are solely for their benefit. While sustainable development does affect public outlook towards businesses, genuinely reaching out to communities and helping them address pain points creates a world of good that empowers everyone. 

Though transforming business models for the future may be a balancing act between viability and sustainability, we at Globe Business believe that there is power in going beyond. Change is a transition from me to us. How far companies are willing to take their influence shows how much they can achieve. By igniting change towards a more sustainable future, purpose-led organizations of today will be the business leaders of tomorrow.

Interested in learning more about our products and solutions? Arrange a consultation with a Globe Business Advisor today.


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