Our planet faces enormous economic, social and environmental challenges and despite important progress, no country is on track to achieve all SDGs by 2030. Awareness is growing that the SDGs, the Paris Agreement and sustainable development beyond 2030 can only be achieved through transformational change and that without these transformations we will never achieve truly socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economies and societies.
Tackling these systemic issues requires a systems-based approach. Achieving systems change – the ‘intentional process designed to alter the status quo by shifting and realigning the form and function of a targeted system’ – is highly complex, it requires large-scale and fundamental transformations of the societal systems driving current environmental and social pressures. Such transformations will require changes in current institutions, practices, technologies, policies, lifestyles and thinking.
Business can play a key role in leading these transformations by creating sustainable, inclusive and innovative solutions. However, businesses managing these deep and long changes require roadmaps that are rooted in the pathways to sustainable futures. Benchmarks developed by the World Benchmarking Alliance provide exactly these roadmaps. Benchmark methodologies translate societal expectations into metrics, providing companies with a clear path forward. Benchmarks and league tables in turn show where industries and individual companies stand in their journey towards a more sustainable future.
Seven systems transformations
Ensure that the financial system enables a more sustainable allocation of resources and a more accurate representation of risks and opportunities, in line with planetary boundaries and social conventions
Decarbonisation and energy
Significantly reduce the world’s dependency on carbon-based energy through a just and equitable transition while providing universal access to modern energy services and adapting to climate change
Food and agriculture
Produce healthy and nutritious food to feed a growing world population, while staying within planetary boundaries, and offer farmers, fishers and their families a decent standard of living.
Achieve an inclusive, safe and secure digital economy and society - one where people from all walks of life, in both developed and developing countries - are able to equitably share in the benefits of digital technology
Incentivise responsible practices that underpin inclusive and equitable economies and support systems transformations which leave no one behind
Creating sustainable and inclusive cities that are safe, resilient, liveable and environmentally friendly