This week our Center for Responsible Business and Leadership launched the first Report of the Observatory of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in portuguese companies. It was the first of a series of activities to be developed by this observatory in the next years, with one main aim: understand and accelerate the implementation of the SDG Agenda in Portuguese companies. Check more about the project here.

The main conclusions of this study are both encouraging and challenging.
Portugal, as a country, is well positioned in the worldwide panorama, standing in 20th place worldwide and keeping the 12th place in the OECD group. However, some of our most disregarded SDGs are precisely the strategic SDGs for the country, like SDG#14 (life bellow water) and SDG# 13 (Climate action). We still need to improve in SDG#12 (sustainable production and consumption), SDG#15 (life on land), and SDG# 2 (zero hunger). All the details can be found in chapter 4 of this report.

In what relates to portuguese companies, the main conclusion is that companies have a high ambition to engage with sustainability, but they lag behind their ambitions in terms of operationalization. The numbers show that 95% of portuguese big companies and 77% of SMEs consider sustainability as a strategic opportunity for their business, and 90% of portuguese big companies and 65% of the SMEs consider the value creation for stakeholders (not shareholders) as their main business purpose.

However, when asked about the SDGs, most of the companies refer they want to engage with this agenda, still some barriers prevail: the lack of knowledge on how to operationalize the SDGs, the lack of general knowledge of this agenda, the lack of resources and difficulty in seeing the business case are some of them. The great majority of the companies consider they are behind their ambitions in the SDG agenda, and they ask for support on advancing the SDGs in their strategies. Sharing good practices of their counterparts is their main suggestion for progress.

This study is one of the first steps in accelerating the corporate agenda for a common sustainability ambition for our country. It also represents a clear opportunity for Portuguese companies to lead a necessary agenda for the world. If you enjoyed this newsletter, check our event last Monday and get in touch!

Have a great and impactful week!

Filipa, Natália, Mafalda e Ângela
Center for Responsible Business & Leadership 

This article refers to edition #160 of the "Have a Great and Impactful Week" Newsletter and covers SDG 1 to 17.
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