30th April 2018

VIDEO: The SDGs and making sustainability material


Alignment and implementation of the SDGs from Investment and Corporate Perspectives

As a Senior Recruiter specialising on mainly senior, short term placements, I’m privileged to have an aerial perspective of what’s driving change at a strategic-level across sustainability. Alignment to the SDGs has certainly been top of the agenda for my clients, however, many businesses that I’ve spoken to are still working out how to best prioritise and implement these for meaningful and achievable impact.

Over the last nine months, Acre has seen a significant rise in demand for professionals experienced in identifying and addressing material issues and risks within sustainability. These hires are taking place across the Private Equity space as rapidly as they are the Corporate space, which is exciting and hugely encouraging.

Business leaders are increasingly being asked:

How are you future-proofing your business? How are you utilising sustainability effectively to create and leave behind a profitable and purposeful business for future generations to come?

Acre took this opportunity to provide a unique platform to draw corporate and investment professionals together, to identify how to create a profitable enterprise which positively impacts its people and the planet. Speakers Kate Martin Bruintjes (a sustainability reporting and materiality consultant with a wide range of corporate consulting experience) and Niall O’Shea (a highly experienced consultant specialising in Environmental, Social and Governance issues) covered the following topics:

  1. Why the SDGs are relevant to organisations, how some are responding to them, practical implementation of the SDGs alongside business strategy and what to expect next
  2. The sustainable investment landscape, including key trends and sustainability strategy investment drivers, plus what is required to attract capital

Top Takeaway Opportunities related to SDG’s:

  • Growth of your business: Asset managers and owners expect to double their investment in responsible/sustainable strategies in the next two years, from 25% to 50%; if this is not a key reason for organisations to implement better and more measurable sustainability goals, what else is? For a world that lives and dies on Risk and Opportunity,increasing the scope of investment available isn’t going to just be about ‘feeling good’, it’s because the evidence convincingly proves that integrating sustainability factors in investment supports better financial performance by companies and their investors.
  • Lead the way NOW and mitigate the reputational risk of not doing so: With backing from governments, investors and the public, the SDG’s are firmly on the agenda. If your business does not begin to adopt them alongside strategy, all stakeholders, from your customers to your investors, will be asking why not? The SDGs provide a fantastic opportunity for businesses to show leadership in the sustainability space, regardless of their size and achievements so far. There is everything to play for in terms of in taking the lead on this, so act now!
  • Create Your Legacy: Driven by investment and pressure from consumers, Boards are beginning to ask themselves “what are we here to do?” There has likely never been more opportunity to leverage Purposeful Capitalism. One CEO put it perfectly when she mentioned her 8 year old son coming into her office at home and asking her the 3 simplest of questions; What do you do? Why do you do it and most poignantly, as is so often the case with children, Who do you help? If the message doesn’t inspire you, change it. It is within your power to lead from the top down.

About the author

Tanith Allen, Senior CR & Sustainability Consultant, Contract & Interim

Tanith manages Acre’s contract and interim recruitment for CR, Sustainability and Responsible Business. She is an experienced project manager and has led bespoke projects for a range of industry leading businesses. T: +44 (0)20 7400 5852 | E: tanith.allen@acre.com