Companies including SABMiller, Dow, Novozymes, and many others have begun to align their corporate responsibility targets with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since the United Nations (UN) launched them in September. Indeed, aligning corporate strategy with the SDGs demonstrates the relevancy of social and environmental efforts, and private sector contributions are essential if we hope to achieve the 17 ambitious targets by 2030.
With this in mind, Neighbourly, a social platform that connects companies with local causes and community projects, has added new features to neighbourly.com which allow charities and causes to align their projects with the SDGs, and facilitate related corporate impact reporting. The 17 SDGs – also known as the Global Goals – are now how projects are categorized on the site.
As a result, businesses and corporations which contribute resources, time or funds through Neighbourly can automatically report on the impact of their activities in support of the SDGs. Businesses are now able to search for a specific SDG to be connected with charities, causes and projects that are aligned with that goal. Once they have contributed, the reporting features of the site will provide a consolidated analysis of their investment and its impact aligned to the relevant Global Goal.
“Business wants to help,” said Nick Davies, founder of Neighbourly. “We know this from our own experiences. The evidence of big brands wanting to make a difference is all over neighbourly.com.”
“But the private sector also needs assistance to make connections to relevant causes in the local communities they want to reach. Neighbourly is all about making that task quicker and simpler,” Davies continued. “By providing reporting for accountability purposes, whether for the global goals or other corporate social responsibility measures, we help businesses to make their contribution.”
Davies announced the new features at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York on July 19, speaking in a session entitled, “Business Agenda for 2030.” At the event, he also spoke about Neighbourly’s success in facilitating partnerships between the public and private sector. The company has engaged corporate giants including Starbucks and Marks & Spencer (M&S). Neighbourly’s work with M&S even helped the grocer expand its national food surplus redistribution scheme this month.
The changes should help businesses tackle the daunting task of finding meaningful ways to engage with their local communities, while contributing to the ‘big picture’ Global Goals. For example, while multinationals may be able to contribute to Goal 6 for Clean Water and Sanitation in developing countries, smaller companies may find it more feasible to contribute to The Yellowfish Project if they’re based in the United Kingdom (UK). Similarly, Goal 1 - No Poverty - returns several projects against homelessness at the local level. At the time of writing, all but Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals - had at least one project in the UK seeking help – and one might argue that collaborating with a local organization through Neighbourly inherently checks that box.
So, whether your business is looking to help end hunger, improve equality, make cities more sustainable or promote responsible consumption, the site should be able to help. That is, if your business is looking to connect with causes based in the UK, Guernsey, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, and/or the Netherlands. Unfortunately, Neighbourly’s location search is currently limited to these territories.