Managing business in never easy. With the government looking at every movement, enterprises have to conform to many regulations that have been previously written. With ensuring steady flow of income as the number one priority, now leaders are faced with another seemingly huge task: ensuring their business is sustainable. Sustainable business is about how business does not only do the taking (of profit in many forms), but also to give back to the community, especially the surroundings of their complex or from where their resources are harvested. Having sustainable business is part of the sustainable development goals which is about the agenda for 2030 where business and the countries where they reside in must conduct sustainably in order to transform people into doing good business: good for the company and good for the people.
Despite the burdening feeling from the jargon of ‘sustainable business’, aligning the business that you may possess with sustainable development goals is the best medium for attaining growth which guarantees success factually.
IGCN, through Leaders Forum is making it possible by provoking stakeholders to adapt themselves to the presence of SDG and also to understand that having SDG is not a burden, but rather a miracle to a business in seeking future profits.
MDG shifting into SDG is better, but must be complemented by everyone’s actions and by being more altruistic.
At first, the world needed Millenium Development Goals to help them steer into the correct way. As time goes by, it has become outdated. Now, it is turning into SDG. It is attainable and may be done effortlessly, as long as everyone keep finding and also innovate solutions to contribute in it.
The first panel discussion titled “The World We Want” was opened by Justin Doebele, Chief Editorial Advisor for Forbes. He stated that all business leaders must project themselves for the better future. Elsewhere, according to Mrs. Meng Liu, Head of Asia-Oceania Networks of UN Global Compact, technology is needed more than ever before if everyone wanted to put the planned sustainable business into practice. “We are living in an evolving world where technology took part in all aspects of our lives. Thus, it is imperative to see tech as a solution to create easier access to information about SDGs. It is a great way to further promote and familiarize SDGs – making it more accessible for the community”, she said.
This evolving technology is beneficial if people wanted to know more about SDGs and also to use it for reviewing their actions aligned with the SDG. Monitoring is obligatory for continuous development. However, everyone must see SDG as a positive change. Dr. Ir. Arifin Rudiyanto, Deputy Minister for Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources, Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning Board (BAPPENAS), thinks that SDGs are achievable when all stakeholders put their words into proof.
He stated that “The evolvement of MDG to SDG is a positive change. Thus, the Indonesian government sees the need to socialize sustainability nationwide, regardless of their roles in the community. All government plans for SDGs are supported by the main 5 pillars: social, economy, environment, law & regulations, and management.”
He also added that he recognizes the connectivity between implementing SDGs and how it may open up numerous unthinkable new business opportunities. He added, “Small changes result in large business opportunities.”
Further in the discussion, other prominent speakers, which are Mrs. Erna Witoelar, Chair of Board of Supervisor, IGCN & Co-Chair Filantropi Indonesia, Mr. Siprianus Bate Soro Head of Democratic Governance and Poverty Reduction Unit, UNDP, and Mr. Y.W. Junardy President, IGCN & Commissioner, PT Rajawali Corpora explained that everyone, especially leaders must abolish their egos to make the goals happen. Thus, IGCN exists to help businesses, governmental bodies, and everyone else to fill their role in achieving SDG.
Knowing the importance of SDG with great understanding is not enough in reaching it. In addition, it is essential by knowing that having SDG as a priority in their business goals is not a burden, but rather a miracle to a business in seeking future profits.
While getting more profit is the pillar towards success, IGCN helps leaders in knowing that there is no drawback in doing it sustainably. However, a leader may need another leader to go hand-in-hand to achieve the objective of SDG.
However, talking about profit is never far from the corruption that might be involved. That is why the speakers also reminded everyone that they must conform to anti-corruption. They also have to actively seeking ways to contribute in abolishing corruption from business practices.
Mrs. Anita Nirody, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative, sees the growing importance of sustainability in present-day business is a fresh and positive change towards profitable future. She also sees cooperation between stakeholders as important as it may be. She understood that, as the saying goes, “one may walk fast if they go alone, but one may go far if they go together”. “Talking about business today is not only about profit, but it is also about how companies conduct sustainable business. No certain entity can implement SDGs alone. We are going to require partnership between government, private sector, and the surrounding society,” she added.
The second panel discussion, titled “SDGs Means Business”, was opened by Maria Nindita Radyati, VP Learning IGCN and Co-Director of CECT-Trisakti. In it, the speakers discussed on how it is imperative for Indonesian businesses to set an example for others by making sure that their company goals are steering everyone into the same direction to achieving SDGs.
In addition, seeking sustainable conduct opens new opportunities for companies on doing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. According to Prof. Marie Elka Pangestu, Ph.D, Council Member of Leadership Council UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), private sectors and their CSR programs are playing an important role making the world a better place. She also emphasized the way SDSN is finding ways to reduce plastic waste. Lastly, she highlighted how people must learn the effect done by companies towards the journey in achieving SDGs.
With the goals set aside, IGCN also put the time to appreciate leaders who set themselves as the great example in paving the way towards reaching the SDGs. They submitted their organizations’ Communication on Progress (COP)/Communication on Engagement (COE) report on time and with excellent quality. In total, there were 20 organizations (corporattion, NGO and academia) who received the Award Pin from IGCN. At the same time, IGCN conducted a pledge signing session for 9 (nine) new members as well to welcome new intakes and making it into a larger and greater organization which may make Indonesia into one of the leaders in pursuing ways to complete the goals of conducting business sustainably.
To conclude, it is important to provoke Indonesian business leaders to possess the same mindset of seeing sustainable business as a new and better method in getting greater revenue and opportunities for their enterprises. They also have to promote cooperation and unity in achieving it, thus making it easier to attain and achieve in the near future.