Our CEO, Liz Mackinlay, virtually presented at the International Conference of Sustainable Development (New York). She was part of a session alongside academics, industry experts, and even an enthusiastic student who spoke about Corporate Social Responsibility, which was heartwarming. The session primarily focused on assessing the progress made by the private sector in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Liz used ABV's partnerships with Newcrest, BSP and NAB as shining examples of outcome-driven partnerships with meaningful local impact. She spoke about how we foster trust with our partners, making ABV a sought-after source for advice on local communities and future planning.
Liz emphasised the issue of corporate waste in social initiatives, where resources are misdirected due to a lack of understanding of local needs. She illustrated this point with the example of creating excess waste by sending snowshoes to a region like Africa based on pooled donations from an office in a cold climate. This kind of charity is detrimental to the region the corporate are trying to help because the community's needs have not been considered in the planning process. This is why ABV takes a locally led approach, to honour the needs of the community we are working in and deliver real outcomes.
One of the speakers commented on how our approach seems to offer a long-term solution where corporates have so often fallen into the chronic problem of only thinking short-term for social impact. The speaker commented on how our approach might be the "next generation" solution.
Liz responded, "For a corporate looking at social responsibility as a branding or marketing opportunity, they are not going to want to invest in a program like ABV because we are far more transformative than transactional." As corporates recognise social license to operate and how vital ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) targets are for shareholders, they realise the importance of investing meaningfully in programs that create real change.