More Practical Support Needed To Deliver SDGs – IEMA

A gap between “big picture” international development objectives and grass roots sustainability practice must be bridged to ensure skilled professionals, organisations and nations can contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), said the head of IEMA.

Tim Balcon, CEO of sustainability body IEMA, says that professionals across the economy need more practical advice to steer their organisations towards effectively contributing to the UN’s SDGs. Failure to provide the right “how to” advice to underpin the 17 strategic Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets could limit their success at national, regional and global level.

“There is no doubt that the Sustainable Development Goals provide absolute focus on creating a peaceful and prosperous planet. Their targets need to be on a par with the Paris Accord in terms of stimulating collaboration and directing organisational focus on improving environment and sustainability performance,” said he said.

“However, with the goals’ deadline just over 12 years away we must ensure that we join the dots between strategic vision and practice now.”

“However, with the goals’ deadline just over 12 years away we must ensure that we join the dots between strategic vision and practice now. That means ensuring professionals everywhere can access support and guidance to make the right day-to-day decisions which align with big picture direction,” he continued.

IEMA says that collaboration between professions to exchange practical expertise on circular economy, responsible finance, ethical procurement, employment law, communications, biodiversity and change management is essential over the next decade.

“How To”

IEMA has published a new “how to” book on change management in the context of sustainable development. Change Management for Sustainable Development has cross-sector and cross-profession relevance for anyone – regardless of their profession – who is seeking to help change and transform organisations.

The guidebook, which is free to download for IEMA members, is the first in a new Sustainability in Practice series of guides designed to give practitioners with Environment & Sustainability responsibilities the right end-to-end information and guidance to tackle key challenges and practices.

It also has an interactive theme which offers readers the opportunity to reflect on what they’ve learned and take advantage of the accompanying worksheets.

The guide draws on tested experience of leading change makers, helping professionals to understand how they can be most effective in creating positive change. It will help readers to become better equipped to continue their organisation’s journey towards transformational change, from whatever their starting point.

Writer and environmentalist Tony Juniper CBE authored the guide’s foreword, and echoes Tim Balcon’s call to bridge the gap between global strategy and local practice, writing: “If we are to make continuing progress, then it will be necessary for sustainability advocates and professionals to achieve change at the micro as well as macro level, and that is what this book is all about – setting out the approaches that can succeed in joining the dots between the very big picture and the day-to-day reality of how things get done”.

Change Management for Sustainable Development is available from £10 HERE


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