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Organizational Change
Lack of Engagement of Middle Management Impeding Progress on SDGs

According to a new study released by Frost & Sullivan and GlobeScan on behalf of CSR Europe, a lack of middle management engagement is creating obstacles for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The SDGs provide not only a vision for the world, but they also comprise a positive and feasible agenda for us to protect our people and our planet and secure a brighter future for this and the next generations. This is a message that businesses are beginning to internalize,” said Frans Timmermans, VP of the European Commission.

“They increasingly understand that to thrive in a new, connected and globalized world, they must play a key role in the successful implementation of the SDGs. But it is not just the hard ‘business case’ that is convincing more and more CEOs to adapt their businesses and put them on sustainable footing. It is also a growing sense that as parents and citizens, they too want to contribute to a better world simply because it is the right thing to do.”

The report reveals that while the C-suite and top-level management are increasingly looking to the SDGs to inform decision-making and guide strategy, middle management and employees are largely disconnected from the narrative. It goes on to suggest that collaborative efforts must be reinforced in order to meet the UN 2030 Agenda.

To achieve this end, it will be imperative for top management to foster employee and stakeholder awareness of how the SDGs relate to core business strategy.

“Collaboration is fundamental to bring about the change that is needed and while it is the easiest thing to say, it is at the same the hardest to do. This is why CSR Europe recently launched the Sustainable Business Exchange, with the aim to empower companies to take action and co-create sustainable growth models,” said Stefan Crets, Executive Director for CSR.

CSR Europe will work through its network of more than 10,000 companies across Europe to promote business transformation through its Sustainable Business Exchange campaign. Companies can engage in the program in two ways:

  • A learning network will help them embrace the circular economy, rethink the value chain, foster innovative partnerships and business models, as well as sustainable consumption and production.
  • An SDG Incubator will facilitate pilot projects between companies, civil society and governments to drive business contribution to the SDGs and tackle common challenges.