Why this Goal is Important
Traditionally, governmental bodies have been recognized as being the primary target audience for aligning to and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 through their ability to create firm policy supporting the goals. While this may be true, the private sector is known to be majorly responsible for a country’s GDP and employment. As a result, businesses of all industries, sizes, and locations, play an additional role in ensuring that the Decade of Action (2020-2030) is successful.
Businesses especially have the capacity to influence Goal #8 which was created to attain “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all”. As businesses impact the livelihoods of many people directly and indirectly through their own policies and practices involving employment, technological innovation, and business and supply chain relations, these acts will assist with reducing unemployment levels, contribute to a more diverse and progressing economy, and maintain social stability. While SDG #8 is typically focused on creating adequate employment and the development of the economy, it is common for these initiatives to contribute to other goals that have a close connection to #8. For example, Goals #1, 5, 13, among many others, are positively contributed to by reducing poverty, gender inequalities, and climate change, while supporting #8.
From an employee perspective, being employed at a workplace that openly supports the health, safety, and professional growth of all will generate employee satisfaction. This will also encourage employees to be more productive, positive, stay with the organization, grow with the business, and be a major part of their place of work.
From a business perspective, having satisfied employees will provoke continued employee retention, future talent attraction, increased demand for services, and thus increased profitability and overall success.
Our Current Action That Directly Aligns to the SDGs’ Targets
It was no surprise that when conducting our SDG Materiality Assessment Goal #8 appeared within the list of most material SDGs. Below are the initiatives that define how MapleGreen supports this goal.
|United Nations Goal #8 Targets||MapleGreen Action that Supports the Targets|
|8.2: Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors||❏ Researching consumer demand for required services and where applicable adding those services to MapleGreen’s portfolio
❏ Carrying out frequent vehicle and equipment inspections to determine if replacement or updating is required
❏ Actively conducting research into production increasing and labour-saving vehicles and equipment as well as grants to assist with the transition to affordable electric vehicles and equipment
|#8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value||❏ Providing a healthy living wage for all employees of all departments and responsibilities
❏ Considering all potential employees equally when receiving job applications
❏ Supporting local marketing, vehicle maintenance, and essential service businesses in our area of operation
|#8.8: Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
|❏ Ensuring workplaces and work sites are safe for all employees in-office and on work sites and encouraging open dialogue of all workplace situations as they arise
❏ Creating and following through with appropriate disciplinary action if employees, managers, or supervisors are creating an unsafe or unhealthy work environment
MapleGreen’s Future Action
To continue our contribution to SDG #8, MapleGreen plans to incorporate the following initiatives which were discovered through conducting industry best-practice research:
- Complete a full assessment of all current policies and practices to identify opportunities and gaps for aligning to SDG #8
- Measure current impact supporting this goal and communicate progress to stakeholders
- Conduct a holistic supply chain map to determine areas of potential risk or violation of SDG #8
- Encourage current supplier companies to conduct business in ways that progress the SDGs, or consider partnering with other product suppliers
By creating an environment that supports decent work and economic growth, MapleGreen is aligning to its mission and values of creating a professional tree care organization with a focus on safety that provides affordable services across Caledon, the GTA, & Toronto for both residential and commercial clients.
Interesting Resources & Company Examples
The following links includes examples of companies and research institutions that provide methods to successfully support Goal #8.
- Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs: https://d306pr3pise04h.cloudfront.net/docs/publications%2FBlueprint-for-Business-Leadership-on-the-SDGs-Goal8.pdf
- Why Decent Work and Economic Growth Matters: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/8_Why-It-Matters-2020.pdf
- Sustainable Development Goal Progress Tracker: https://sdg-tracker.org/economic-growth
- BMO and SDG #8: https://corporate-responsibility.bmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/BMO-2019-Sustainability-Report-PAS.pdf
- Amazon’s Commitment to Sustainability: https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/pdfBuilderDownload?name=sustainability-all-in-september-2020