Hong Kong's First Accredited Trainers for the SDG Impact Standards
Flagship Initiative of the United Nations Development Programme ("UNDP")
Moving the Hong Kong private sector from sustainability commitment, to decision and action
HONG KONG, Nov. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- PIE Strategy, a certified impact consultancy providing independent ESG advisory services to corporations in Asia, has, in November, had two of its sustainability specialists accredited by UNDP's SDG Impact as Accredited Trainers for the SDG Impact Standards. They are amongst some of the first in the world and the only trainers in Hong Kong to achieve this accreditation by the SDG Impact.
The Standards aim to address a long-standing lack of clear guidance on how companies can translate intent into actions, by providing best practice guidance for embedding sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs") in business and investment decision-making — from seeing sustainability and the SDGs as an add-on to incorporating them as an integral part of the business and decision-making process.
As the world's first team of Accredited Trainers for the Standards, PIE Strategy will actively promote the application of the Standards to corporations in Asia, with Hong Kong planned as the first location to launch the training course for early 2023. The Standards, with its 12 Enterprise Actions organised under four interconnected themes – strategy, management approach, transparency, and governance – offer companies and individuals who aspire to lead transformational change in the private sector with a set of best practices and tools to integrate impact management and contributing positively to sustainable development and the SDGs in organisational decision-making processes, such as investment decisions, product research and development, resource allocation and operation models.
The Standards are consistent with the report Integrity Matters, released by the United Nations High-level Expert Group at the 27th Climate Change Conference (COP27), calling for enterprises to "draw a red line around greenwashing and transform sustainability commitments into tangible actions and progress tracking". The UNDP is also working on an independent assurance framework and the SDG Impact Seal for the Standards as a mechanism to mitigate "impact washing" and "SDG washing".
The pandemic has disrupted global societies over the last three years, with SDGs being pushed back and climate change mitigation lagging behind expectations. The United Nations has estimated that 114 million jobs have been lost and 120 million people have plunged back into extreme poverty, warning that the pandemic "could lead to a lost decade for development". The Standards provide a common language and shared approach for the private sector, enabling enterprises to play a more central role in contributing to SDGs and the stability of social and environmental systems, while uncovering business opportunities in the pathway towards solving sustainable development challenges.
Natalie Chan, Managing Director of PIE Strategy said: "Every day, more and more companies commit to contributing to SDGs and net zero emissions. However, there has been a long-standing lack of standards and implementation guidelines for translating intent into actions. The SDG Impact Standards are addressing this knowledge gap by providing a set of internationally recognised consensus standards and best practice guidance. It could also help investors discern the doers from the pledgers when it comes to creating long-term enterprise value by driving forward better outcomes for people and planet.
Fabienne Michaux, Director of SDG Impact at UNDP pointed out that "SDG Impact Standards are management practice standards. Leading change through transparency and reporting alone may be too slow in terms of the quantum and speed of change needed to put the world on a more sustainable path and achieve the SDGs. Also, using reporting as the driver for behavioural change can lead to form over substance and unintended consequences, as the primary motivators tend to be marketing communications or compliance, but not on decision making with the purpose to deliver impact."
About PIE Strategy
PIE Strategy is a certified impact-driven sustainability consultancy (Certified B Corporation®), specialising in providing corporations in Asia with independent, professional advisory services for embedding ESG considerations in their corporate and product strategies that deliver sustainable growth and drive better outcomes for people and planet. Through strategy advisory to define customised pathways for sustainable and purposeful transformation, and technical services in double materiality assessment, science-based target-setting, climate scenario analysis, product life-cycle assessment and social impact assessment, PIE's sustainability strategists and specialists equip businesses in Asia with the knowledge, tools and clarity to connect business success with social progress and environmental conservation, and communicate their contribution with relevance and authenticity.
About SDG Impact and SDG Impact Standards
SDG Impact is a flagship initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), working to accelerate private sector contributions towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The SDG Impact Standards are best practice standards for entities wanting to embed contributing positively to sustainable development and achieving the SDGs into their approach to creating value for themselves and for stakeholders (people and planet). The Standards focus on the internal management and decision-making practices that are needed to support more informed and accountable internal decision making and choices in line with achieving the SDGs and other sustainable development outcomes.
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For more details about the SDG Impact Standards For Enterprises Training Course, please visit www.piestrategy.com/sdgimpact