What are the SDGs?

In January 2016 the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into effect. This set of 17 ‘Global Goals’, together with 169 targets, provides a common framework for all parts of society to work within to achieve a world without extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030.

At the heart of implementing the goals is the premise that cross-sector collaboration is essential for success – not just by civil society and governments, but a full range of stakeholders, including businesses and citizens. No one sector or organisation alone can achieve the scale of change needed.

As an essential force for change, working closely with businesses and civil society, we contributed to the development of this long-term agenda. We are committed to ensuring that all resources reach the parts of the globe where they are most needed to achieve maximum impact.

To accelerate the process we have developed a range of initiatives in our role as impartial thought leader, convenor and advisor.

What's your role as a business?

Companies looking to future-proof markets, compete for talent, mitigate modern supply chain risks and respond to the evolving challenges of climate change, cannot afford to overlook the significance of the SDGs. As part of renewing their social contract with society, today’s companies are overwhelmingly expected to make a positive contribution to the communities they affect.

What opportunities are there for businesses?

The SDGs offer a long-term higher purpose, with benefits for a range of stakeholders. There are many opportunities for your business to engage. These include:

Products & services

Developing products and services geared around delivering the goals.


Raising awareness among stakeholders.


Pursuing multi-stakeholder partnerships.


Advocating supportive regulatory environments for civil society organisations.

How we're driving THE SDGs

At CAF we’re committed to effective giving. We’re an enterprising charity with a global presence and a stake in long-term social change. By working with us, you’re joining forces to build and strengthen civil society. We publish ground-breaking research and thought leadership whilst campaigning to create an enabling policy environment for civil society. As an independent voice we are able to engage a wide range of stakeholders, convene opportunities to test and challenge your thinking and help accelerate change.

We can help translate across business and social agendas to help you align to the SDG agenda, act through high impact strategies, assess your work and develop new opportunities for business and society.

Our three-stage advisory framework helps build the business case for engagement within and outside the business and embed SDG thinking. We can also add value to your partnerships and programmes along the journey through advice, grant making and financial vehicles which engage your stakeholders and de-risk your giving.

Our approach to strategic alignment with the SDGs

  • 1. Align

    Exploring your business’ role in the SDGs:

    - Horizon scan
    - Diagnostic review
    - Business case
  • 2. Act

    Prioritising high-impact programmes:

    - Impact framework
    - Partner identification
    - Programme implementation
  • 3. Assess

    Embedding SDG thinking:

    - Impact evaluation
    - Stakeholder insights
    - New opportunities to add value
CAF SDG framework

How we’re making a difference with our clients

One Family Health Rimera

Ecobank Foundation

  • Goal 1: No poverty
  • Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing
  • Goal 4: Quality education
  • Goal 8: Economic inclusion

Ecobank Foundation in Africa aims to achieve social change in health, education and financial inclusion. Through aligning their work with the SDGs, we enabled the client to engage senior stakeholders, identify shared agendas, widen their influence and find new partners to enhance their impact.

We also supported the development of an impact framework which has helped them articulate the change they are seeking to make with partners and to prioritise their own activity. The Foundation is now identifying opportunities to engage the business and also external public and private sector partners.

“CAF have played a valuable role as a critical friend and supporter of social change in Africa. They guided our thinking and helped engage internal stakeholders at critical points in the process.”

Julie Essiam, Chief Executive Officer, The Ecobank Foundation

We’re here to help

We bring extensive experience of working with leading international and UK businesses to understand their intended impact, develop sustainable strategies and build social programmes.

We offer a complete solution, including designing your strategy to finding the right partners, de-risking your giving through our financial vehicles, running your corporate grantmaking and, crucially, helping you measure your impact. Our dedicated strategic Corporate Advisory team works with clients across all sectors.

To find out how we can support your business to maximise its impact on the SDGs, please call us on 03000 123 207 or contact us by email.

Maximising the impact of the SDGs

Find out more about how we can support your business to maximise its impact on the SDGs.

Download our SDGs leaflet

Business and the global goals

Can engaging with government ensure that corporates are seen as advocates for civil society?

The role of business in preserving civil society

Our report explores how some companies across the world are going above and beyond their traditional role to protect civil society.

Meet our Advisory team

Our team offer strategic advice on how businesses can maximise their potential to create a better society.