Collectivism, responsible investment and the SDGs: Redefining us…now or never!(PART 2)

In part 1 of this article, we looked at some of the changes are witnessing: necessary social changes that will be needed to tackle the SDGs by 2030 as well as the challenges that lie beyond.  These changes are also bringing about immense opportunities for us as individuals, companies, nations and society.  Here are just a few to be cognisant of and which you can act individually to promote with others:

 

• Redesigning our lives – Our biggest opportunity right now – Technology is enabling a more connected way of life as we discover we can be both productive whilst having greater balance in life.   Whilst economic and capital market contractions play out, we will come out of this and this resilience will be a key metric to monitor for any company or organisation tackling any aspect of the SDGs.  Organisations are beginning to and should be challenging their business operating models to ensure take advantage of the lessons we have learned from Covid-19:
 
a. Tech enabled home office working, which is also connecting us to the “human” side of our co-worker as work and personal lives mix in the VC background;
 
b. Elevating our people management as we make greater efforts to maintain our business and personal networks;
 
c. Taking advantage of freed up time to learn new skills through online education;
 
d. Making time to stay fit mentally and physically;  
 
e. Adopting conscious eating habits that are healthy yet bring well-being whilst minimising waste;
 
f. Despite the reported biases embedded with Covid-19 or whatever the next challenge will be, we are allvulnerable so “today matters.”
 
• We are creating a “new responsible, sustainable culture”We are in the early evolutionary stage of a new responsible society that will be better prepared to “operationalise” and embed transparent, responsible and sustainable business practices into all industries.  Embedding ESG into a firm’s culture is one of the exciting challenges we are all tackling.  We need to ensure that there are net positive impacts for the various SDGs as we gradually:
g. create a more circular economy;
h. provide new opportunities to invest responsibly;  
i. drive better sustainability practices within our interconnected global supply chain;
j. create a more consciously capitalistic world that is filled with increased awareness and education; and 
k. increase our individual and collective well-being.  This will manifest itself through greater identity and purpose, acting more humanely and sensitively, being supportive to those in need and overall feeling more prosperous in every definition of the word.
 
• We will bounce back and prevail! – As you take your next evening walk or exercise session in the park, tune into the level of optimism around you and within your community.  You may well find a palpable strength and unity that reassures you that we will endure and overcome the current situation.  Our economy will return (as we see “build back better” increasingly used as the latest hashtag!)  It’simportant we recognise that the “new normal”, whilst full of its own fiscal and other challenges, will ultimately take us to a better place.   

 

We are holding a golden ticket, a societal “royal flush” and far from writing off 2020, we will look back in years to come that this year redefined society and ourselves.  Keep optimistic, practice a wonderful skill of our grandparents: patience and know we collectively will prevail!  We have many challenges ahead of us (at least 169 of them within the SDGs!), and optimism and patience will be amongst our greatest assets needed in years to come.

 

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Troy is a Sustainability and Responsible Investment professional with over 20 years of experience assisting companies and participants in the Asset Management industry to enhance their governance, risk and responsible investment practices. Troy is the former Director, Head of Sustainability and Responsible Investment for KPMG.

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