Why we’re raising our SDG Flag this September
As the 2030 deadline to meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals nears, Standard Bank Offshore is firmly behind efforts to inject urgency into global efforts.
Standard Bank’s offices in Jersey and Isle of Man are joining in flying the SDG global flag campaign to accelerate efforts to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2023 SDG Flag event is being celebrated worldwide on 25 September.
The UK arm of this campaign was launched in 2022 and attracted the support of nearly 100 organisations. Standard Bank is participating this year together with hundreds of organisations across the UK and British Isles in a monumental act of solidarity.
This year marks the eighth anniversary of the international community's adoption of the United Nations SDGs, placing us beyond the half-way mark to the target date of 2030. The SDGs are made up of a comprehensive framework of 17 goals supported by 169 targets and 232 indicators.
Standard Bank Offshore has identified several areas in which we believe we can have most impact. Our Social, Economic and Environmental (SEE) strategy is focused on areas such as climate change, job creation, equality, education, and health.
“As a subsidiary of a founding signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, we are ensuring that our strategy is consistent with and contributes to society’s needs and priorities,” says William Thorp, CEO of Standard Bank Offshore. “By raising an SDG flag, we are demonstrating our dedication to the UN Global Goals and highlighting the tangible actions we’re taking to address climate change, gender inequality, health and wellbeing, and decent work.
“With only 1 in 10 people in Britain familiar with the SDGs, raising the SDG flag this September is key to raising awareness and mobilising stakeholders for action. We encourage other like-minded organisations to join this global movement in championing the SDGs so that, together, we can achieve the 2030 Agenda.”
Some significant milestones towards the SDGs have been recorded in the UK, yet much more work remains to be done. For instance, the Measuring Up 2.0 assessment published by the UN Global Compact Network UK showed that the UK is only meeting 17% of the 132 targets domestically.
A milestone in transparency
“The financial sector has an important role to play in each of our communities and we have set ourselves challenging goals and know that we cannot do these alone - which is why we partner with businesses, charities, and local communities,” William says.
One such partnership is with a local sustainability expert who has been helping our Jersey team with our SDG impact journey. We had already undertaken a large amount of work to better understand the sustainability impact on clients, employees, and communities in which we operate.
The impact assessment conducted by the consultants allowed us to see where we were performing positively, negatively, and where we could have even deeper impact. It also allowed us to see how we compare against our industry peers, how our operations align with global commitments and standards, and how much more valuable SDG impact measuring is than just ESG reporting alone.
A culture of giving
Standard Bank Offshore has a long tradition of engaging staff members in giving and charitable programmes.
Tina Stuchfield, Head of People; Culture for Offshore, says a recent World Economic Forum report shows that at least 64% of colleagues want to know their work contributes positively to society.
“We care deeply about this,” she says, “which is why we’ve set ourselves challenging impact goals, aligned closely to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The work we are undertaking is about us standing up to be counted and being transparent about the progress we’re making.
“Corporate social responsibility is a key driver of our organisational culture and is embedded within our standard practice. It aligns with our purpose and values, and as a principle, shapes many of our actions and decisions.”
The principles of being a responsible corporate citizen are therefore well entrenched, with regular contributions by way of staff volunteering, fundraising, and payroll-giving to local charities.
As we continue our journey towards 2030, we're committed to strengthening our partnerships and refining our strategies. We invite you to join us in this important mission. Together, we can achieve a more sustainable and equitable world for all.