Our Methodology and Approach
The 2030 Agenda counts in all countries in the world. Developing countries, emerging economies, and developed countries: Everyone must make a contribution. Our methodology takes this into account.
At the heart of the agenda is an ambitious catalog of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 SDGs take into account for the first time all three dimensions of sustainability – social, environmental, economic – equally. The UN speaks of the „5 Ps“: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership. (see UN Document “A/RES/70/1 – Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”).
Originally developed as a political concept the 5 Ps also have great potential as a management system. So far companies have various options when it comes to disclosure and controlling: They can select from the the big framing models like Elkingtons Triple Bottom Line, the Creating Shared Value model by Porter and Kramer or even Archie Carroll´s good old Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility. Leading reporting frameworks are GRI Standards, IIRC, SASB, CDP and ISO 26.000. And this is only the top of the iceberg: Many other regional or insignificant frameworks come along with this. Even for experienced participants this fragmentation in the sustainability landscape is at least confusing, for beginners it is frustrating.
People, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership are an excellent framework for the editorial presentation of the SDGs and for highlighting their holistic contexts in the Global Goals Yearbook:
Adopting the 5Ps for business requirements
Looking at sustainability topics through the lense of the 5Ps describes a possible – and desirable – future: a sustainable change in the underlying conditions, a new understanding of economy, and value creation. It also represents a new understanding of social responsibility and participation. A 5Ps business approach requires a redefinition and rethinking of the relationship of the state, the economic system, and civil society. For more details on this see also the IIRC initiative with its groundbeaking work in the field of sustainable value definition.
And the 5 Ps may also help up to close another gap: Participation, transparency and inclusiveness are fundamental for sustainable development, if taken seriously these principles contradict an expert driven and top-down approach to evaluation and review. It is requiring horizontal & vertical integration of management models and competence in managing multistakeholder dialogues.
But how can the chosen topics be structured? How can appropriate measures be identified? How can corporate best practices be continuously improved?
The well-known Deming circle provides answers: PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) is an internationally recognized four-step management method used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products. PDCA forms the internal structure of the chapters:
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will only suceed if we bring business on board. The private sector has the know-how, the money and the capacities that we need. And business is willing to contribute to a better world. But tools and training is missing. Especially for Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) the SDGs are unknown territory. Here, the initiative by macondo fondation puts on an innovative solution: They use the United Nations 5 Ps as a management system to translate the SDGs for business. An Editorial Board bring support and guidance.