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Role Of Technology Solutions For Monitoring SDGs


Exactly 2 years back countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals. To make this happen technology plays an important role especially for enterprises giving them a pedestal strengthen their potential to contribute towards these ambitious goals.

Technology enabling the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals will potentially be one of the most powerful drivers of change in modern economies going forward. The explosion of digital technologies and the shift towards sustainable development, both require us to rethink the nature of goods and services. Both have the capacity to transform the relationship between governments, companies, consumers and the community. Sustainability technology will have to scale and accommodate a different data sources and formats, as well as functionality, ideally by a platform offering to monitor, track and measure key performance indicators (KPIs). From a strategic perspective, material issues and their associated key performance indicators need to be aligned to SDGs. Performance management in context of goals thereby become tied to measurable and quantifiable indicators.

While organisations across the globe are identifying material aspects/ topics and aligning to one or more SDG goals, it is important for organisations to prepare, monitor and measure KPIs across the value chain.

Foresight is the key to survival. Leadership and managers should be provided with technology and systems that help them perceive trends and weak signals, where others might only see noise or chaos. Capitalising on these needs and through relentless pursuit for looking at sustainability in a holistic manner, enablers are finding innovative ways to help organisations evolve in practicing sustainability the right way. I would like to highlight certain benefits of incorporating SDGs in a technology platform which I believe will bring in a paradigm shift in the way businesses view Sustainability. Such technology solutions must firstly have the ability to manage the entire inventory of 17 Goals and 169 indicators along with corresponding Business Themes as defined in the SDG Compass, which will direct a wide variety of stakeholders to track the performance of their initiatives & projects.

Secondly, enable tracking and data modelling capabilities, but will help visualise the data around SDGs achieved based on the projects implemented. Thirdly, map each SDG goal with the widely accepted frameworks & standards like GRI, SASB, CDP, DJSI, thus providing the organisations to interlink various frameworks against which they have been tracking progress. Lastly, to further the platform, one should make report generation and communication of progress to all stakeholders easy, inbuilt functionality should generate insights and periodic reports that help organisations, investors, governments and wide variety of participants to assess risk & opportunities and act promptly.

Inculcating these factors will enable organisations to pace up their efforts towards monitoring as well as achieving SDGs; but it will also bring a revolutionary change in the ways businesses operate and inculcate sustainability as an attitude in their organisations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Sunita Purushottam, the author is the Head of Consulting at Treeni Sustainability Solutions, an organisation committed to helping Indian companies reimagine and embrace sustainability. Her core area expertise is in the area of air quality and GHG emissions. Monitoring, Emission Inventory Quantification, Modelling, Verification and Model Validation have been a part of her repertoire. Sunita possesses a strong meteorological background with understanding of Climate Change Science and Adaptation.

Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
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