Webinar highlights: How your people strategy is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and delivering ESG results

Autor Clare Thornton
Mai 9, 2023

On Tuesday 2 May, we were excited to partner again with Cecilia Crossley to host an exciting webinar on how people strategy is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and delivering environmental, social and governance (ESG) results.

Cecilia is host of the podcast and event series, How HR Leaders Change the World, which is curated by the social enterprise she founded, From Babies with Love – a social enterprise that provides employee engagement gift services to global HR functions and donates 100% of profits to support 45,000 vulnerable children.

Sharing knowledge and inspiring action, How HR Leaders Change the World features the strategies and successes of pioneering CHROs – highlighting how commercial people strategy is also driving change.

So, how is your people strategy contributing to the SDGs and driving ESG results? Read our highlights and watch the webinar replay video to find out.

Webinar replay

There are many connections between the work HR leaders are doing and positive change. Cecilia uses the ESG framework to walk us through it and suggests some free resources and tools to share with your teams.

The elements of value

Cecilia first refers to a diagram that talks about how we deliver value – for anything and anyone.

The base layer of pyramid is functional value, including benefits such as saving time and cost. As we move up the chart, the perception of the value you’re offering increases.

The next level is emotional value – how you (or your products and services) create positive feelings or reduce anxiety. The third level is inspirational value – how you give hope, motivate or encourage. At the top with highest perceived value is social impact – how you’re helping someone else as well as yourself.

If you’re writing a business strategy or business case, you can look at the benefits you’re demonstrating across all four types of value. If you can include social impact, you’re showing the highest perceived value and presenting your case in a way that speaks to our humanity. This is how connecting your work to the SDGs or ESG can help you achieve your goals.

The E in ESG: environmental

Under the environmental banner, Cecilia discusses skills planning, hybrid working and – a topic always worth discussing – food!

Many businesses are setting environmental targets, such as net zero. Achieving such goals requires the right talent and skills to achieve. Upskilling, re-skilling and recruiting to do so means HR is contributing to goal 13 (Climate Action), goal 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).

Hybrid working contributes to goal 11 – sustainable cities and communities. Cities include many offices and HR is creating workspace where people thrive.

As we change patterns of working, HR has the opportunity to consider where people work, how they get there and how we can harness change to improve community use of space, energy use, food and water use. There are many connections to the work of HR.

The S in ESG: social

There’s a wealth of HR work contributing to the “social” in ESG – such as recruitment, health and wellbeing, and reduced inequalities.

A lot of the work by your HR function will link to recruitment strategies that contribute to the UN SDGs. SDG 1 is no poverty. One way to break out of poverty is to have a job.

Businesses can support non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive recruitment practices (poverty is greater among women) to support this goal. There are also many elements of your recruitment that support goal 4: quality education – in particular vocational skills training.

Turning to SDG 3, health and wellbeing, if you’re responsible for your health insurance benefits or other health programmes such as mental health, you’re making a significant contribution to this goal. Family planning is also part of SDG 3, as well as HR work to support colleagues dealing with issues related to substance abuse.

The G in ESG: governance

Rather than elements of governance that make you think of compliance and reporting, consider culture and leadership – a big topic for businesses and their HR functions.

Creating the right culture involves leadership training and development, values training and performance management, plus the metrics that measure how your people contribute to that culture.

Leadership is part goal 17: partnerships for the goals – you’ll see promotion of leadership traits around collaboration, cooperation and empathy.

This also links with goal 16: peace, justice and strong institutions – including businesses. An example of HR work that contributes to this goal is your company’s approach to psychology safety and, at a detailed policy level, your whistleblowing policies and procedures.

Tools and resources

Cecilia shares some free tools and resources for you to use and spark your own ideas:

  • The B Impact Assessment tool: a digital tool that can help measure, manage, and improve positive impact performance for environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders
  • Boardroom 2030: invites and equips businesses to explore what a 2030 future might look like and draw attention to the changes we must make to our boards
  • Coming soon: a How HR Leaders Change the World free digital tool that will help you map your HR work to the UN SDGs. Join the free How HR Leaders Change the World community to be the first to receive it!

Webinar replay

A huge thank you to Cecilia and everyone who joined us.

If you’d like to hear more about our events – or to discuss your career or hiring needs – please complete our form below.

HR Jobs

  • Pharmaceuticals/life sciences

Associate HRIS Director (Eastern Time Zone Remote)

Our client is a global leading life sciences organization, and their Global Head of People Technology & Analytics is hiring an Associate HRIS Director to support the implementation of SuccessFactors and drive several key workstreams and HR technology initiatives. You will act as a functional expert for the implementation and on-going management of SuccessFactors, leading […]
  • Salary USD150000 – USD175000 per annum + bonus & LTI
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 2 Stunden
  • FMCG/consumer goods

People & Culture Manager

We are excited to partner with one of the leading Lifestyle company on People & Culture Manager role. With longstanding stalwart of the industry, our client takes great pride in their mission to improve quality of life and create sustainable futures. Such a focus has proven to be even more important in recent years as […]
  • Salary SGD110000 – SGD140000 per annum
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 9 Stunden
  • Financial services

HR Business Partner – Financial Services

We are delighted to be partnering with a global multinational investment company on a HR Business Partner opportunity. With large presence across Singapore, EMEA and the US, your role will partner with the Investment Group and manage a full scope of business partnering matters for the firm on a global scale. Your role will partner […]
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 14 Stunden
  • FMCG/consumer goods

Chief Human Resources Officer

A leading global consumer lifestyle group, renowned for its unique experiences and customer care, is on the hunt for a strategic and innovative Chief HR Officer (CHRO). This role is pivotal in shaping and executing the company’s people and culture strategy as it continues to expand and innovate. The CHRO will report directly to the […]
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 19 Stunden

Featured Content