Each year Hub Australia supports purpose-driven businesses to make an impact by offering complimentary memberships as part of our Flexi Impact Program. In 2020, one of our chosen participants is Paxy, a social impact business working with entrepreneurs in Venezuela and Australia, selling jewellery to support social projects.
Nancy Torres, Paxy’s Founder and Director, has shared her insights into how to bring sustainability to your businesses, regardless of the size or industry.
Over the last 7 years, I’ve had many patients asked me how they can make a positive impact to the world, and help people around them or in different countries.
These patients were recovering from intense traumas, so didn’t have lots of capacity to take on big projects or make massive changes.
Last year, a good friend was telling me that she would like to get involved in sustainability, but felt too busy to make big changes. How could she make an impact?
All the questions and worries people seem to share can be reduced to something very simple: people want to help, no matter their circumstances.
This means that we need to design and promote products and services that make people’s lives easier.
It needs to be easy to make a choice to do something good.
A generational shift towards sustainability
New generations are more aware of our global problems and demanding solutions. Millennials and Gen Z represent $350 billion spending power in the US, with Gen Z representing 40% of global consumers in 2020.
There is an incentive and an opportunity for sustainability to become profitable!
Where do we start?
I love the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so I suggest starting with that framework. I have incorporated them in my work since 2015 and it’s an easy framework for us to participate in, with a 2030 global agenda for social, environmental and economic prosperity.
How can we do it?
Use the SDG list to see what you are already doing that might be a positive, before checking which of the goals are related to your market.
After that, investigate the indicators for each goal and find ways to incorporate impact-making sustainability business changes.
Remember: sustainability is a journey, and it’s not always perfect
I highly recommend incorporating Goal 17 no matter what industry you are in – partnerships are a good place to start!
With well defined and relevant partnerships, we become stronger and can reach more people.
What should I do next?
All stakeholders want to know you are working on sustainability in your business once it’s set as a focus.
It’s possible to communicate it through your website, social media, annual reports, conversations, and more. You can also join the UN Global Compact, a global initiative for business to connect with other companies working on sustainability and access resources.
A real-life example of business sustainability:
In Paxy, I focus on SDG16.
My career has been around exploring the concept of peace, defining it, and sharing it with others in psychology and business.
My social enterprise, Paxy is named after Pax (peace in Latin).
Our products and projects are designed to share what peace means and ways to incorporate it in our daily lives; supporting human rights, equality, kindness, social and environmental initiatives, and resolving conflicts in a non-violent way.
We apply this to Paxy’s business through fair trade, by buying from women entrepreneurs, giving back to social initiatives in the countries we operate in, educating people, and more.
For us the relevant body is United Nations, so we became members of United Nations Association of Australia (NSW), and are joining their initiatives.
Finally, I’d love you to choose the easy way: get together with people that are working on similar initiatives, find partners, read about the goals, do your networking and have fun in the process.
Every effort counts!