Skills4Good Logo

Matching Talent with Purpose

  • Mission Possible: Companies Achieve Sustainability via Nonprofit Boards

Mission Possible: Companies Achieve Sustainability via Nonprofit Boards

By Josephine Victoria Yam, J.D., LLM.

2018 June 14

In these troubled times, businesses continue to be a shining force for good.

Take for instance, Lego, which makes colourful plastic bricks our children (and we) love to play with. It works with nonprofits to provide play-based quality education to vulnerable children.

Or Nike, which creates stylish running shoes with its iconic swoosh so we can "just do it". It uses responsible production processes such as recycled materials for its athletic gear.

Or Visa, which facilitates payments through credit cards so we can shop on Amazon in our pyjamas. It provides poor families with financial services so that they send their kids to school or buy a home.

Many large companies are tackling the world's big, hairy and audacious social and economic development goals. These global goals are outlined in the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They include ending extreme poverty, protecting our planet and eliminating gender inequality.

Sustainable Development Goals

The private sector's active participation is crucial to achieving these 17 SDGs. It alone possesses vast financial capital and human capital resources necessary to advance the 2030 Agenda.

Yet, these inspiring examples on Lego, Nike and Visa are not enough. The United Nations Global Compact 2017 report found that more than one-third of the 9,000 participating businesses are still not engaged with the 17 SDGs.

How then can more companies engage in the addressing the SDGs?

Enter IMPACT 2030, a private sector-led organization, which collaborates with the United Nations and other stakeholders under the banner of “Employees for the Global Goals”. Its mission is “to activate human capital investments through employee volunteer programs to advance the achievement of the SDGs”. It encourages companies to support employee volunteering to solve the world’s biggest problems.

And one way companies can address the SDGs is by supporting their employees to serve on nonprofit boards. Employees can share their time, talents and expertise at the board leadership level and make a huge impact in the nonprofits.

According to Sue Stephenson, Impact 2030's Vice Chair and Interim CEO:

“IMPACT 2030 is ideally suited to support nonprofit board service among companies because of the strong support from its corporate partners for advancing the impact of human capital investments for the SDGs”.

Impact 2030 recently partnered with Better World Leadership to develop human capital for a sustainable world. According to CSR expert Alice Korngold, who heads Better World Leadership:

“[N]onprofit board service is an effective pathway for companies seeking to grow shareholder value by… fostering economic development to achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".

The Better World Leadership report discusses why employees serving on nonprofit boards help achieve the SDGs which also benefits their companies.

 
Because employees lead the nonprofits towards advancing the various SDG-related nonprofit missions like good health (SDG3), quality education (SDG4) or sustainable cities (SDG11).
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
 
Because employees work side-by-side with other individuals from diverse backgrounds to solve social problems. This gives them a broader, more nuanced understanding of how the SDGs affect their communities and their companies. They develop empathy and an external mindset, crucial for workplace diversity and inclusion.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.
 
Because employees craft creative solutions to solve these problems using scarce resources. They bring this innovative thinking and creativity back to their companies. This gives their companies a distinct competitive advantage.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sapien platea morbi dolor lacus nunc, nunc ullamcorper. Felis aliquet egestas vitae, nibh ante quis quis dolor sed mauris. Erat lectus sem ut lobortis, adipiscing ligula eleifend, sodales fringilla mattis dui nullam. Ac massa aliquet.

Nonprofit board service programs provide companies with a powerful opportunity to develop their employees as leaders while advancing the greater good. That creates a triple win – for the company, the employees and the nonprofits.

As Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly quipped:

“Every moment of service adds up to a better world for all on a healthy planet.”

Skills4Good. Logo.

Matching Talent with Purpose

RBC Top 25 Awards Winner
RIC Centre Logo

Skills4Good is a RIC Centre Incubator Tenant

The Research Innovation Commercialization Centre is one of the Regional Innovation Centres of Ontario’s innovation ecosystem. It’s part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) to help Ontario technology entrepreneurs compete and win in the global marketplace.

+1-866-5033320

s4gemail

120 Adelaide Street West, Suite 2500
Toronto, Ontario M5H 1T1 Canada

Stay In Touch

       

Privacy Statement / Terms of Use
© 2019. Skills4Good / Building Breakthrough Boards Corp.