Combined with other tools and mechanisms (such as national and international policies, fiscal measures, etc.), standards are a powerful knowledge tool that can support the global implementation and long-term achievement of the SDGs.
To maximize the strengths that standards and standardization offer, businesses could be, as a starting point, encouraged to work out how the SDGs fit in with their existing sustainability plans and activities – then identify what standards will help ‘translate’ and embed the goals into their strategy and enable them to put everything into practice.
Some businesses are further ahead in this journey; for those sustainability leaders, standards could prove a useful tool to further, maximize and disseminate their ongoing effort. Like governments, organizations won’t see fit to adopt all 17 goals but rather the ones which align to their individual businesses.
Those businesses that are successful in embedding sustainability in their organization will be duly rewarded, says Unilever’s CEO, Paul Polman.
'Business has the unique opportunity to embrace the SDG agenda and recognize it as a driver of business strategies, innovation and investment decisions. Doing so makes business sense and will give them an edge over their competitors,' he explains.
However, to fully support organizations trying to understand and contribute to the global achievement of the SDG targets, new standards may be necessary.
BSI is keen to hear about your experiences on all matters sustainability and welcomes suggestions for new standards that will support your objectives in this area. Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.