Sustainability management of SMEs and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Article · October 2016with122 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s00550-016-0407-6
The SDG Compass is a method to translate the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals into management objectives. It was developed by UN Global Compact, GRI and WBCSD. The SDG Compass focusses on large corporations and offers them a framework and method to translate the SDGs to their business. The SDG framework, with the goals and the implementation method, only partially meets the criteria of a hands-on and actionable tool. Much attention is being paid to external motivators instead of focusing on tangible business impact. Currently, prioritization of themes that matter most for European SMEs is not possible. Tools to link the SDGs with the business processes of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises or SMEs do not exist. SMEs lack resources, experience and incentives to implement sustainability in their daily management but their potential contribution to sustainable development is large. In this article we show how the SDGs can be linked bottom-up to the Sustatool, a practical PDCA-based management tool that offers SMEs the opportunity to implement sustainability in their daily practices. We have prioritized the SDGs that SMEs can impact most. We make SDG targets material by linking them to concrete actions in the thematic catalogue.