Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.


The best of solutions journalism in the sustainability space, published monthly.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

SDGs Supported by New Service that Matches Sustainable Corporates and Socially Driven Startups

By Brian Collett

A new service bringing together corporates and businesses able to support their ethical policies is to be offered by fetch, a Dutch company formed this year to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Formed in the city of Nijmegen this year and a signatory of the Dutch SDG Charter, fetch will introduce a global digital platform providing what it calls “unique match-making” between companies and “sustainability and social-driven start-ups”.

The company, partnered with Agora Partnerships, an accelerator for entrepreneurs working to make social impact; Amsterdam-based Circle Economy, which encourages circularity; and the social-tech network TechForGood in Tel Aviv, goes live with its platform early in May.

The platform, says fetch, will enable start-ups to showcase their market-ready innovations to corporates and will allow corporates to pick the right businesses to help them.

Founder Alison Azaria says: “Fetch is born from years of research and understanding of what the market needs to make the world a more sustainable place.

“Through my experience in working with corporates and feedback from start-ups, I saw a gap and a channel missing in connecting the two.

“The idea for fetch is to create one global digital platform where members can search for innovations that align with their goals around all topics under the sustainability umbrella and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The aim … is to become the world’s largest digital platform with a searchable database of sustainability and social innovations around the globe.”

The fetch objectives are in line with a wide-ranging report from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, an international body dedicated to directing businesses towards the UN goals.

The report makes the case for businesses to concentrate on solving the world’s greatest challenges stated in the UN goals. It maintains that achieving the goals would have a monetary value of $12tn (£8.5tn, €9.8tn).

However, the report points out: “There is much more than $12tn of value at stake. There is the opportunity to shape a safer, more prosperous world with a more predictable future in which to invest and innovate.

“There is the chance to rebuild trust between business and wider society.”

The commission then reminds business bosses that that they must “lead the charge for sustainable growth” if a better world is to be realized.

Those leaders’ intentions, it says, must include marketing products and services inspiring consumers to make sustainable choices, and using the goals to guide leadership development, women’s empowerment, regulatory policy and spending.

One result envisaged is that the goals will create 380 million new jobs by 2030, but they must be decent jobs with a living wage.

Another is that fiscal systems may have to be reformed, reducing tax on employees’ incomes and increasing them on pollution and underpriced resources.

The spotlight is thrown too, on slave labor. The estimates are that worldwide between 20 million and 40 million people are working in modern slavery and more than 150 million children are working in fields, mines, workshops and on rubbish dumps without protection. This scene is “an unacceptable feature of 21st-century capitalism”.

Fetch’s last word is that it will continue to evolve, thus “enabling our generations and the generations to come to live a more sustainable and responsible life”.

The commission’s final word mixes a warning with a rallying call: “The world has 13 years before the deadline it has set itself for achieving the global goals.

“Company leaders will never have a better moment in which to align their business objectives with creating a better world.”


Photo: UN SDGs