The Spanish Association of Consulting Companies (AEC) has just published the second edition of its report “Commitment of the consulting sector with the 2030 Agenda. In this study, they try to reflect the progress of these companies in terms of sustainability and fulfillment of the Development Goals Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which they consider to be a priority and what are the challenges and lessons they experience when addressing this commitment.
One important change from the previous version of this review is the priority the industry gives to environmental protection issues. 90% of respondents (77% in 2021) believe that consultancy can positively impact Goal 13 on climate action, thanks to its leadership role in developing transformative technology solutions. Likewise, 59% of respondents see the sector as having a particular influence on issues related to clean and affordable energy (Goal 7), whereas a year ago only one in three (33%) did.
Another related difference occurs with regard to the importance given to health and well-being (Target 3), which becomes a priority effect for 90% of those consulted, while in 2021 it was only 26%. It is arguably the most noticeable increase in the entire study, in part due to the longer-than-expected impact of the pandemic and the extraordinary economic situation as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its aftermath.
“This second edition of the report shows the sector’s ability to adapt to conditions and continue to advance in its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, prioritizing the implementation of projects that take into account the needs of organizations and society as a whole, ” highlights Elena Salgado, President of ACS.
The main reasons for this increase are the greater commitment with customers (99% of respondents) and with the public administration, which increasingly demands the degree of compliance with these sustainability objectives in its tenders; In addition to increasing the involvement of managers with these new standards.
Other SDGs that continue to be a priority for the consultants are number 8, which refers to decent work, economic growth, quality education (goal 4), industry, innovation and infrastructure (goal 9).
Gender equality (objective 5) and the reduction of inequalities (objective 10) continue to be fundamental objectives for companies that continue to contribute to the reduction of exclusion based on gender, age or social class, among others. Due to the nature of its activity, digitization and technological transformation are key issues for the sector.
Although 24% say they do not find obstacles to integrating the 2030 Agenda, there is room for improvement in some aspects: the main challenges include lack of internal resources, lack of tools or lack of knowledge about this in a company.
Regarding the benefits of implementing the 2030 Agenda, respondents highlighted issues such as improving the company’s reputation or internal management of sustainability and corporate responsibility.
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