The SDGs: Water and energy
Our path to the Sustainable Development Goals
Grundfos recognises the business potential in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) also known as the Global Goals, and the need to identify and develop solutions to scale.
Sustainability is in our DNA; we’ve always supported our customers with a portfolio of sustainable products and solutions. Anchoring our strategy to the SDGs was a natural continuation of our heritage and working with them is an ongoing process. The private sector, with its power of innovation, has the ability to find many of the solutions to meet the SDG challenge.
We worked with the SDGs from three perspectives:
- Business opportunities perspective: The SDGs tells us about mega-trends. Where is there a potentially enormous un-met demand? And can we contribute to meet that demand – while doing business?We call this Sustainability is Business;
- Risk perspective: Where are we at risk of causing negative impact? What are the trends in expectations about good business practices? We call these Social Contract Issues;
- Communication perspective: A common framework when we speak with partners – from NGOs and governments to customers and our own employees.
In 2016, we mapped how the SDGs affect different parts of our business completed a gap analysis. Combining these two results provided us with an overview of opportunities, impact and gaps in a SDG framework. It lead to the identification of priority SDGs within each of our strategic impact areas:
- SDG #6 on water and SDG #13 on climate, where our pump and water solutions have the biggest impact. The goals are linked to our overall business and growth strategy and are the backbone of our efforts.
- SDG #8 on decent work and SDG #16 on strong institutions as the areas in which our operations had the biggest impact.
The SDGs are interconnected
From the assessment, we found that the SDGs are closely inter-linked and any attempt to separate them is more of an analytical exercise than a practical one.
We also let individual functions within the company take ownership. They went through their own discussions and analysis, adding the SDGs most relevant to their particular line of work. The result is a combination of top-down application of the material SDGs, and bottom-up identification of additional priority SDGs.
For example, teams working with inclusion made their own analysis and now focus on the most relevant SDGs for them, whichare SDG #5 on gender and SDG #3 on good health. When we work with solar-driven pumps, we also work with SDG #7 on clean energy. individual functions within the company take ownership.
The result is a combination of top-down application of the material SDGs, and bottom-up identification of additional priority SDGs. For example, teams working with inclusion made their own analysis and now focus on the most relevant SDGs for them, which are SDG #5 on gender and SDG #3 on good health. When we work with solar-driven pumps, we also work with SDG #7 on clean energy. Our work with human rights cuts across all the SDGs.
The SDGs are alive and well in Grundfos; they have grown organically and gained more and more followers throughout the business, along the full value chain. This means that the SDGs are no longer coupled to strategy, but are part of the strategy. With a clear priority to change mindsets, and being well on the way on that journey, we are also focusing on further integrating the SDGs into our reporting and target-setting.
"The UN has set 17 very ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 15 of these 17 goals relate directly or indirectly to water. I am placing particular significance on goal 6, that relates to access to clean water and sanitation for everyone. We and our technology can make a real difference to the world in this area. We are - in my clear opinion - a SDG 6 company.
Our knowledge and water technology can move the world in a positive direction. By purifying surface water for drinking. By making water available in refugee communities. And by moving water energy efficiently, so that we take care of the globe while doing so. We are making a difference because we can."
Mads Nipper, Group President & CEO