As we close in on the fifth anniversary of the launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a rash of tech giants have recently been scrambling to prove their sustainability bona fides.
Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Tesla are among the big names to make major pronouncements about their commitment to sustainability, joining a host of other tech players already active in pursuing SDG-related goals. What seemed, five years ago, like wishful thinking, has evolved into a truly global movement.
But behind the bold declarations, the reality is that the silent majority of tech companies are reluctant to even engage in the conversation, let alone make binding commitments to the SDGs.
To keep companies honest there are many worthy initiatives under way, attempting to hold corporates to account and ensure that sustainability commitments are not simply palliative words gilding annual reports but verifiable actions embedded into corporate practice.
At Tech For Impact, too, our hope is to sway leaders into the path of action. Our approach is to add a new dimension to the sustainability discourse. We want to develop a positive narrative around sustainability, to connect and align the sustainability declarations of tech companies with the expectations of the general public.
This series of conversations is an opportunity for companies to explain their motivations and their intentions, to publicise the real world impact they are creating. How do they view sustainability, define social good, measure impact? What demonstrable action are they taking?
By speaking to employees directly responsible for translating policy into practice, we hope to sketch out a landscape of intent and action that will inspire and guide others; that will help them to absorb the language and the narratives of social impact, and will ensure that sustainability thinking becomes a core component element of their corporate conversations.
These conversations are a way for Asian companies learn and benefit from the actions of their peers.