RBC’s goal is to help everyone understand that there are opportunities for doing good while doing well in EVERY industry. From the business perspective, below are three takeaways from the trek.
1.Change mentality to trigger innovative solutions:
Transition to sustainability from the core business is not a waste of money but creates opportunities for business. It’s all about the “Mindset”. Our perception to evaluate the profitability, during the decision making process, should no longer only be short term focused. It should include social and environmental impact, which are considered as long-term profitabilities. Besides, valuing based on long-term profitability benefits companies by improving the management of their risks and reputations. The Director of SDGs from WBCSD believes that “achieving the SDGs could unlock $12 trillion a year in business value.”
2.Strengthen the relationship of three Cs – Communication, Coordination and Collaboration:
More communication helps different stakeholders understand each other’s perspectives and positions. Engaging different stakeholders along the value chain enables us to tackle the vast global challenges. “Increasing migration will encourage future generations to embrace and understand the differences among people and cultures,” we learnt from AKDN. The willingness to strengthen the relationship of communication, coordination and collaboration will be key to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, DNDi has initiated many different open innovation projects, such as Open Synthesis Network, to facilitate the collaboration with private sectors to solve neglected diseases. DuPont engages in the production process of its clients so as to keep improving its end products toward sustainability solutions, such as AHEAD™.
3.Create a new systematic model and measurement, then scale up
The role of sustainability in business has evolved from a philanthropic role to strategy shaping, and now towards governance. Therefore we need to reframe the traditional system and approach of running a business. “Building partnership models which are long lasting, scalable and transformative, and which create shared value will be key”, WEF stated. We see this in how the Global Fund partners with private sectors to build a resilient and sustainable system for health by effectively mobilising their shared resources. GAVI has also created a shared-value model partnership and new way of funding along the value chain from innovation to operation to modernise immunisation systems in developing countries.
This new evaluation approach is required to value both the financial aspects and the impact to the environment and society, in order to monitor the overall outcome. For example, AKDN only works on long-term programs, which are at least ten years, to be able to measure its impact from its “Quality of Life” approach. Bamboo Capital Partners has created an impact management process throughout the investment lifecycle to make sure the missions and visions of the organizations are well implemented.