The Global Compact Network Spain, the General Council of Economists of Spain (CGE) and the Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (CEPYME) presented in November the Guide for SMEs to the Sustainable Development Goals. The publication is a practical manual that is easy to consult. Its objectives include raising awareness among SMEs on ODS, helping them contribute to Agenda 2030 and generating partnerships linked to the Goals.

The contents of this publication are designed for SMEs to visualize tangible benefits in management under principles of sustainability. These include the headings on business opportunities for SMEs in the 2030 agenda and on how to align the company’s strategy with the SDGs, as well as that relating to regulatory compliance in the area of sustainability or taxes and sustainability.

The executive director of the Global Compact Network Spain, Cristina Sánchez, has affirmed that «from the Network Spain we have a strong commitment to Spanish SMEs, which represent 60% of the member entities. From our organization we see a growing involvement of these companies in the 2030 Agenda, but there is still a long way to go. In fact, 78% of SMEs do not know the 2030 Agenda or only superficially. This is one of the main reasons for the preparation of this guide, which we hope will serve to accelerate the business action of small and medium enterprises with respect to SDGs. It is time to increase the speed if we want to meet the SDGs and SMEs are one of the decisive drivers to do so.

In this sense,» Sánchez continued, «we hope that this Guide will serve to convey to SMEs the message that the Agenda is not just a responsibility, it is a business opportunity that is worth seizing if they want to survive in the future.

During the event, real examples were given of the benefits that sustainability practices bring to SMEs. Those responsible for Gioseppo and Mas Business presented projects of this type carried out by their organisation. Thus, the footwear company Gioseppo, together with the Esperanza Pertusa Foundation, launched the Women4Change project as part of its collaboration with the NGO «Smiles and Olives» which fights to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugee women in refugee camps in Lebanon. As a result of the programme, in 2017 they managed to launch a shoe collection made by Syrian refugee women.

Mas Business has developed a sustainable mobility plan to reduce fuel consumption and travel emissions. These measures are applied to 100% of the workforce and thanks to this initiative, emissions per trip have gone from 5.13 Tm per person in 2015 (maximum) to 1.57 Tm per person in 2018.