Post-Pandemic Outlook on the Sustainable Development Goals Through a CSR Lens
Impact on SDGs 1 – 3
The corporate philanthropic community has been working hard to make an impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the past 6 years. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the progress towards accomplishing the SDGs, reversing years of improvement for Goal 1–no poverty, Goal 2–zero hunger, and Goal 3–good health and well-being, in particular. We pulled together some data from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2020 report1 to help illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on the progress toward goals 1 – 3.
CSR Professionals Are Making a Difference
CSR professionals were called upon heavily during COVID-19 to support their local communities and help employees deal with unprecedented circumstances personally and professionally – efforts that have a clear connection to the three impacted SDGs of no poverty, zero hunger, and good health and well-being. We have seen many companies shift their focus on mental health through virtual events, partner with local nonprofits for food drives, and answer the call to be advocates in the hopes of raising awareness around the key issues that plague the community. Here are two examples of companies that have aligned their CSR programs to the SDGs:
- In response to COVID-19, PIMCO deployed $2.6 million, much of this directed to emergency food relief programs. Read more about Purpose at PIMCO and their mission to combat global hunger specifically aligned with SDG 2
- Educating on the SDGs: TEL FOR GOOD is CSR at Work – TEL strives to maintain a sustainable management platform by complying and addressing key focus areas which align to SDGs 3,4,7,9,10,12, and 17.
Today, CSR professionals are still being called to support the Sustainable Development Goals. There are many resources that can be leveraged by CSR professionals to ideate on new CSR tactics or even build the business case to gain more funding for a CSR program that can drive impact on these goals.
The PwC 2019 Reporting Challenge provides support for business leaders to embed SDGs in the decision-making process of the organization – its culture, values, relationships, and employee engagement.4 The outcomes of the Reporting Challenge illustrated alignment between CSR programs and the SDGs.
Identifying SDGs through tools like allows nonprofits to identify which SDGs align to their mission and communicate that information to CSR professionals and their employees. Through the YourCause CSRConnect software for employee engagement, companies, and their employees can search for nonprofits that align with a specific SDG ensuring the passion, mission, and company values are in synch for each and every CSR program element.
Measuring social influence with our partner True Impact through a framework focused on optimizing corporate philanthropy in areas such as employee volunteer programs can provide CSR professionals with data and results surrounding the SDGs. Their guide “Measuring the Social Impact of Employee Volunteer Programs on The Sustainable Development Goals” provides 4 steps to help CSR professionals with reporting on SDGs.
- Gather Program Outcomes and Costs
- Monetize your volunteerism
- Calculate the portion of social impact your company can claim
- Align to SDG’s
You can learn more about True Impact’s framework during a live webinar on September 8th hosted by Blackbaud. This webinar will go over how to apply their framework with the tools in YourCause CSRConnect. Stay tuned for the registration link!
We know CSR leaders and the social good community are responding to the challenges each Sustainable Development Goal is set out to address. We hope you review the SDG 2020 report and other references linked at the end of this post to gain a full understanding of the progress of each goal around the world. Our 2020 Industry Review shows that over $9 million was donated to support disaster relief campaigns, a significant increase from the 2019 report – and proof that the CSR community responded to the impacts of the pandemic as 52% of that funding went to support relief for COVID-19.
Stay tuned for the full release of the 2020 Industry Review! Many companies have chosen to align with SDGs as a core component of their social responsibility strategy and employee engagement efforts. We’ve also included resources from Impact 2030 on how to align CSR programs with the SDGs in the references.
For more detailed information and data points on the progress of SDG’s around the world check out these references:
- 2020 UN SDG Report – https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/Overview/
- Data for world progress – https://dashboards.sdgindex.org/downloads
- Interactive Map on world performance – https://dashboards.sdgindex.org/map
- PwC SDG Reporting Challenge – https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/sustainability/sustainable-development-goals/sdg-challenge-2019.html
- Blackbaud Institute Comprehensive Social Responsibility Report – https://institute.blackbaud.com/comprehensive-social-responsibility/
- The natural disaster data in this infographic can be found on the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery
- Resources to help align CSR with the SDGs – https://www.impact2030.com/resources