Turning Corporate Goals into a Movement: Impact 2030 Gains Momentum

Turning Corporate Goals into a Movement: Impact 2030 Gains Momentum

With the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in place, the call to action is to harness the collective action of the public and private sector to fully realize this potential.

Few groups are as well positioned to get busy on meaningful social projects than a consortium of big multinational corporations dubbed Impact 2030.  The nonprofit, which formed in 2014 in anticipation of the SDGs, strives to put company-sponsored volunteering front and center.

“When our employees share their skills, there is a far reaching impact. It promotes positivity, collaboration and more,” Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company President and COO Herve Humler said during a Women’s History Month event organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center and the United Nations Office for Partnerships.

Ritz-Carlton’s 35,000 employees are not alone in wanting to roll up their sleeves to tackle major social impact projects. Senior leaders from IBM, Tata Consultancy and UPS have become founding members of Impact 2030 and are coordinating with NGOs and nonprofits to align employee volunteer efforts with the global goals.

While working together in a company-led consortium of volunteer armies is new, many of the Impact 2030 participants have decades of experience rallying their troops around worthy causes.

“IBM has a global volunteerism program with over 20 million hours of service,” said Diane Melley, vice president of Global Citizenship Initiatives, Corporate Marketing, Communications and Citizenship at IBM.

Research released by America’s Charities in December found 86% believe their employees expect their employers to provide opportunities to engage in the community and 87% believe their employees expect them to support causes and issues that matter to those employees.

“Volunteerism is now the core around which companies are building employee engagement strategies and programs. Not only does it serve as a catalyzing force within companies but it is an on-ramp to full employee engagement and deepening partnerships with nonprofit organizations,” wrote America’s Charities in its Snapshot 2015 report, adding that Millennials are company influencers with high expectations of work-sponsored volunteerism opportunities.

While Impact 2030’s member organizations are among the world’s largest, with employees in communities on every continent, care is being taken not to begin SDG-related projects without first setting objectives and determining how success can be calculated.

“Microsoft is moving away from reporting on the dollars invested and rather sharing the impact results. If we are doing our job, there should be an outcome report of how we are doing,” said Toni Townes-Whitley, corporate vice president, Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft.