I challenge anyone to watch the Global Goals “We the People” video and not want to share it far and wide. That’s exactly what I pledged to do when I saw it for the first time. First step, share it with as many of my colleagues at Coca-Cola Enterprises as possible.
The Global Goals were introduced to the world in September 2015, yet the vast majority of people - unless they work in sustainable development - have simply not heard of them. That has to change.
The success of the Global Goals (also known as the Sustainable Development Goals) will depend on everyone understanding what they are, what they aim to achieve and their relevance to their own organisation or business. And the level of ambition is huge.
What are the SDGs?
The Global Goals represent probably the biggest set of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that the world has seen before. A 17-point plan to end poverty, halt climate change and fight injustice and inequality by 2030. Put simply, a step-change for our planet and the biggest attempt in the history of the human race to make the world a better place.
It’s a plan which 193 governments have agreed, a plan that the world wants and needs and a plan backed by leading global organisations and the wider business community. It’s a to-do-list for the planet that will only be achieved if everyone plays their part – and the business community has a critical role to play.
The Role of Business
Of course the SDG’s build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and we shouldn’t forget that the MDG’s delivered significant progress. Since the turn of the Century extreme poverty has halved, 43 million more children go to school, HIV infections have gone down by 40 and over 2 billion more people now have access to clean drinking water. It shows what can be achieved.
Whilst the MDG’s were focused on the developing world, the Global Goals have a global focus - including economic, environmental and social issues. PwC recently described the Global Goals as a “game-changer for the planet” – but only if business seizes the opportunity to engage.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General at the UN also has high expectations of the role of business. He said that “business is a vital partner in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies can contribute through their core activities, and we ask companies everywhere to assess their impact, set ambitious goals and communicate transparently about the results.”
Introducing the Global Goals at CCE
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to run a workshop and introduce the Global Goals to 100 of the most senior leaders across Coca-Cola Enterprises’ supply chain business – including those who lead our manufacturing, procurement, logistics and cold drinks equipment operations.
At Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) we have our own Sustainability Plan - seven focus areas, 34 targets and a 2020 time horizon. The Global Goals represent a Sustainability Plan at an entirely different scale, for the entire planet - 17 goals, 150 targets, and a 15-year time horizon.
Our workshop was simple in structure. I share a brief outline below to enable anyone to replicate and evolve the format within their own organisation. So what did we achieve? Just one small step, the workshop alone won’t change the world. Yet it did just what we intended it to do. Introduce the Global Goals and begin a process of building awareness and internal engagement.
Internally, the feedback has been positive. I’ve received many subsequent requests for multiple copies of an internally-produced Global Goals postcard that people can use with their own teams.
As an output from the workshop we’ve recently developed a simple Infographic to demonstrate the strong alignment that already exists between CCE’s own Sustainability Plan and the Global Goals. Another small step in building awareness. I’d encourage everyone to talk about the Global Goals. Share them with colleagues, suppliers, customers and partners. We have much more to do in the future, but awareness is a good start. #Tell Everyone.
Global Goals Workshop
Step 1 – Introduce the Goals
Step 2 - Provide an opportunity to deep-dive into individual Goals
Step 3 – Ask three questions. Capture and map answers against Global Goals
- What can your organisation do in the future to support the Global Goals?
- What is your organisation currently doing which aligns with the Global Goals?
- Which of the Global Goals has greatest relevance for your own business and value chain?
Step 4 – Ask participants to identify three things they will do personally to bring the Global Goals to life with their own teams and day-to-day business
Step 5 – Show “We The People” video.
Joe Franses is Director, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Coca-Cola Enterprises.