How to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals into your net-zero business strategy

How to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals into your net-zero business strategy


In 2015, the UN announced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At its heart were 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) urging all countries – developing or developed – to take action in improving health and education, economic growth and tackling climate change.

What are the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals?

The complete list of goals laid out by the UN are:

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and well-being
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Affordable and clean living
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Reduce inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Life on land
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Partnerships for the goals

To ensure future generations have a good quality of life, we need to reduce our emissions and energy consumption. It’s key for developed countries in particular to reduce their output, so developing countries are afforded the same opportunity to thrive.

How to implement a sustainability plan into your net-zero strategy

While the onus is on countries to deliver on these goals, it’s also down to businesses and us as individuals to implement SDGs – especially within our net-zero business strategies.

But to do that, you need to think about:

  • Target setting
  • Implementation
  • Contextual analysis
  • Innovation
  • Influencing

So, let’s take a closer look at what these mean:

Target setting

To make sure you hit your net-zero goals, you need to ask yourself if you are setting sufficiently ambitious targets in the right areas.

To do this, you need to collect accurate data to calculate the carbon footprint of your organisation, establishing a baseline that you can use to track your progress going forward. Without this, your targets are meaningless because you cannot assess whether they are attainable or track your progress towards achieving them.


Once your carbon footprint has been established, it is time to review current practice and identify areas of improvement. This is where you can really begin to implement the SDGs into your business. Do any of the SDGs align with your areas for improvement? Do you have an implementation plan that lays out clearly the actions you need to take to achieve your targets?

Again, if you don’t have the initial data, you could be implementing changes that have little to no impact on reducing your emissions or aligning you with the SDGs.

Contextual analysis

Do you fully understand your business’s climate impact, including the opportunities and risks it faces if it implements or ignores a net-zero strategy?

Some businesses are already refusing to work with suppliers without a strategy, which means you could lose or win contracts depending on your stance. And with the new generation of workers refusing to work for organisations that don’t take climate change seriously, you could seriously damage your chances of employing top talent.


Do you have a roadmap with costs and timelines and policy, technology and infrastructure changes factored in?

And have you worked out how to turn your quick wins and short-term goals into medium and long-term accomplishments?


Are you engaging key stakeholders with initiatives to address any of the barriers stopping you from reducing emissions and reaching your target goals?

Most people believe planting trees and offsetting their emissions that way is all they need to do, but here’s the truth:

It takes up to 20-years for trees to have any effect on reducing greenhouse emissions.

Real change can happen much faster. All you need to do is to start implementing sustainable development goals into your net-zero strategy – now.

Need help implementing SDGs into your net-zero strategy?

When it comes to implementing sustainable development goals, we’re experts.

We can help you understand what SDGs mean and how, by implementing them into your net-zero strategy, you’ll improve the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) performance of your business.

Get the help you need, now!

Let’s get the conversation started – call us now on 0151 601 3476