Last week, GWNET held its fifth knowledge-transfer webinar for participants of the 2/2019 Mentoring Programme, on the topic of SDGs and Corporations: How Does that Work? We were excited to welcome key speaker Barbara Fischer-Aupperle, coach, mentor and founder of bfa coaching and also a founding partner of GWNET. Barbara holds an Executive Master in Business Engineering (EMBE) from the HSG University St. Gallen, Switzerland and has over 30 years’ experience in the Hydropower sector.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embrace a wide variety of areas. Before starting to incorporate these goals in a company’s strategy, it is essential to clarify from the start what exactly is meant by sustainability. During the webinar, Barbara emphasized the importance of working with clear definitions and referred to the definition given by the Brundtland Report of 1987 “Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Furthermore, Barbara shared many illustrative examples of how sustainability can and must become a part of corporate strategies. She mentioned, among others, set-up examples, environmental KPIs and targets and the Input-Output-Analysis as possible steps in bringing together the SDGs and Corporations.

Some key insights from the presentation and subsequent Q&A session included:

  • Sustainability requires a clear definition of the essential areas of action in the economic, ecological and social fields.
  • Within companies, sustainability management needs a special set-up, which is best organised along existing structures.
  • A key to success is a representative collection of data over the years, only then can sustainable goals be set.
  • Companies can achieve significant business benefits by taking steps toward sustainability – so-called “next practices”.
  • People already working in the renewable energy sector must not lean back and ignore other SDGs. Sustainability is a term that has to be applied at various levels.

If you are interested in knowing more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes, read more here.


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