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Empowering Organisations To Embrace UN Sustainable Development Goals: Post-Covid-19 Scotland

Fonseca, Ana; Crossan, Kenny; Weaver, Miles; Tan, Hock; Bratton, Andrew; Pershina, Elena



Walter Leal Filho

Maria Alzira Pimenta Dinis

Sara Moggi

Elizabeth Price

Alex Hope


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) argues that the global coronavirus pandemic has caused unimaginable consequences to the global community's economy, social structure, and ecosystem. Overcoming this situation is only possible when environmental responses, plans, and policies are prioritized. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has emphasised that the network of public, business, and non-government entities should collaborate to create better conditions for economic growth, social cohesion, and employment generation. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a framework for businesses to act responsibly. Although the SDGs are an international agenda, they emphasise that local organisations and national governments should implement them through their business plans and policies. This chapter explores how owner-managers of Scottish small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are implementing the SDGs agenda 2030 by using the UN SDG Action Manager tool. Our approach considers three levels. First, this article explores the meaning of the SDGs within the Scottish business context and highlight the role of learning and development in creating more sustainable organisations. Second, the paper examines the action research approach used to support participants to learn and implement the UN SDG Action Manager tool in their organisations. Finally, based on the participants' reflection, the article discusses the key findings related to (1) the lack of partnership and collaboration, (2) the lack of understanding and the language used in the regulations, and (3) the lack of communication and incentives. Analysing the 15 Scottish SMEs through this research provides a greater understanding of the business reality of planning, implementing, and learning about the 17 SDGs.

Acceptance Date Jun 27, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 26, 2023
Publication Date 2023-01
Deposit Date Apr 26, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 27, 2025
Publisher Springer
Series Title Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals - Regional Perspectives
Series ISSN 2731-5576
Book Title SDGs in the European Region
ISBN 978-3-030-91261-1
Keywords sustainable development goals, sustainability, small- and medium-sized enterprises, organisational learning, action research, action learning, SDG Action manager
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