engageability moderated the transnational Zoom workshop “SDGs – a strategic guiding framework for forward-looking companies”. The workshop was hosted in cooperation with respACT- austrian business council for sustainable development and öbu, the association for sustainable business from Switzerland.

Workshop Speakers and SDGXCHANGE

Speakers from the energy and packaging industry in Austria and Switzerland discussed the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals on a company level. Barbara Dubach and Katrin Muff  underpinned the contributions with their methodological approach on how to integrate the SDGs into corporate strategy and develop new business models.

During the discussion rounds in small groups, the participants discussed the opportunities and challenges in implementing the SDGs. The opportunities of the SDGs were perceived primarily in their function as a guideline, both for strategy and for cooperation and innovation. The participants agreed that the main challenge of the SDGs is their complexity. It is therefore necessary to elucidate the goals and create links between achieving them and economic efficiency.

Workshop Outcomes

We have compiled the most important outcomes from this exciting workshop for you:

– 20% of 80 participants stated that the SDGs are already integrated into their corporate strategy. 36% would like to work with the SDGs but do not yet know how.
– Stakeholder panels to identify sustainability goals / SDGs have a motivating effect on the entire company.
– Sustainability and the SDGs can serve as inspiration to develop new business models.
– The SDGs become a market advantage if companies are first-movers .
– Anchoring sustainability in the company strategy is essential.
– The SDGs serve as a global language and are necessary to head into a common direction.
– It is important to focus on company-relevant SDGs. Not all SDGs have to be addressed at once.
– Culture development, stakeholder engagement and committed people are relevant to the sustainability strategy.
– Employee buy-in and enthusiasm are significant factors.
– But it is also important not to overthink it before beginning the process: start courageously and get the necessary support you need.