The Empanda 2030 Agenda Journey: Time to Report Back

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In 2016 Empanda joined the United Nations Global Compact, becoming a member of the GCNSA. This week is our 4th anniversary and it is time for us to report back!


In 2016, Empanda joined the United Nations Global Compact, becoming a member of the GCNSA. This week is our 4th anniversary and it is time for us to report back! This milestone is an authentic opportunity for us to reflect on our membership so far, and our mission to align our business model with the 2030 Agenda and drive transformational change.


Here is our story – and also our commitment to the future:


2016 – Adoption of the Ten Principles and Global Goal Prioritisation


Our start line – looking within:


We reviewed Empanda’s internal operations for positive and negative impacts on human rights, labour, our environment, and anti-corruption and made immediate improvements wherever possible.

We also started to engage all Empandas in our prioritisation of the Global Goals. We reached out to the Global Compact Network of South Africa and struck up a conversation with the awesome Achieng Ojwang about how we could work to align our business model to the delivery of the 2030 Agenda, bringing our core strength in transformational change and learning and development to the table. This was a conversation that bore fruit as we moved forward!


2017 – Anti-corruption Storytelling with our SHINING Pandas


In 2017, our Empandas and our engagement committee elected that we should focus on the elimination of corruption, due to this being such a pressing concern within our South Africa. We wanted to combine this with a focus on Goal 4: Quality Education. 

We decided to partner with the inspiring Kim Palmer and On the Ball College to run an internship for young ICT students. The self-branded ‘SHINING Pandas’ worked through a creative storytelling process to author and narrate video stories to motivate an end to corruption. Watch their 6 powerful and authentic stories here.


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This initiative later led to us collaborating with the Daily Maverick on their incredible Business Against Corruption event in June 2019. Gerald Schreiner, we miss you, and your passion for the good.


2018 – Partnering on eLearning with the UNGC Academy


In 2018 we reached out to the United Nations Global Compact in New York and began to partner with the amazing Alyssa Alicino and Invild Soerensen on an eLearning module to articulate the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. 


Through this process and connection, we have deepened our understanding of what it takes for the private sector to contribute to a more sustainable future. We have continued to collaborate on further eLearning modules on the delivery of integrated health, environment and climate strategies, the respect of human rights by business, and ethical procurement decision making. 

We are and continue to be grateful for this meaningful work, the kindness and professionalism of the partnership, and the privilege of collaborating with leading sustainability experts from across the world. Our learning modules are now translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese and Mandarin and available to UNGC members across 157 countries worldwide.


2019 – Supporting the South African Voluntary National Review of the Private Sector


In 2019 we were given the opportunity to collaborate more deeply with the Global Compact Network South Africa and with the leadership, guidance, and wisdom of Nozipho January-Bardill and her Board. We worked with several of South Africa’s leading businesses to report back to the UN High Level Forum, in partnership with the South African Department for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation


The VNR report documents best practices, practical case studies, prioritisation strategies and delivery frameworks that are working to overcome South Africa’s greatest challenges to delivery of the 2030 Agenda. 


This project gave us direct exposure to the incredible scale of work that many leading South African companies do – often in collaboration with the public sector, communities, and civil society. This initiative gave us lasting hope for our future, regardless of the challenges we face!


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Take a look at the 2030 Visioning Videos below:


Special Empanda thanks and recognition go to the following companies and people for all that you taught us on the way, and for your insight and inspiration:

  • AngloAmerican: Bheki Khumalo, Aiden Choles
  • AngloGold Ashanti: Kgomotso Tshaka
  • Distell: Eric Leong Son, Nichole Solomons, Blain van Wyk
  • Investec: Tanya Dos Santos, Melanie Janse van Vurren
  • Mondi: Sandile Ngcobo, Lora Rossler
  • MTN: Zakhiya Rehman, Marina Madale, Daisy Mwanzia
  • Old Mutual: Khanyisile Chaba
  • Sasol: Alex Russel
  • Scatec Solar: Yumnaa Firfiery, Aiden Wildschut
  • Standard Bank: Boitumelo Sethlatswe


2020 – Oceans Stewardship 2030 and the SDG Africa Hub


In 2020, we were privileged to support the graphic design and reporting for a visionary collaboration between the UNGC and DNV GL for the UN Ocean Conference 2020. Empanda’s contribution included practical guidance, an eLearning module, a reference paper for Blue Bonds, and a critical report containing 10 ambitions for sustainably harnessing the power of our Oceans. 


This body of work is set to inspire policy makers worldwide to reboot our Oceans. It was our absolute pleasure to work with and learn from: 

Erik Giercksky, Ignace Beguin, Mary Kate Currey, Bente Pretlove and Christina Hoysaeter. Thank you for the opportunity.


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You can see the key report on the UNGC website here.  


During 2020 we also connected with the Global Compact Africa Hub and the motivational Nkiruka Chiemelu, who is on a mission to enable young SDG innovators, drive gender equality initiatives, and offer effective insights and action on addressing the impact of Covid19. 


We are excited about this initiative and the opportunity to do work that delivers benefit across our Africa.


2021 – Our future commitment to enabling leaders engage in their role to evolve a sustainable future


The global pandemic has made 2020 a year disrupted. People -and our businesses- have had no option but to embrace transformation. Around us we see many negative impacts that need to be mitigated, but also much reflection – and a building energy for deeper action to work for a better future for people and our planet. 


As we focus on refreshing our commitment and our alignment to the 2030 Agenda, we are deeply thankful to be a ‘going concern’! We are grateful to all the partners that have supported us, nurtured our understanding, and inspired us. We intend to continue to seek opportunity to partner on work that motivates for positive and ambitious change. 

Going forward, our special focus will be to evolve our online learning platform and to enable partners that need virtual learning, leadership, change and content development services. We want to become a hub where creative content development and storytelling talent can congregate to support leaders, authors and thinkers who are passionate about meaningful transformation.


Our Global Goal Priorities are:


  • Goal 4: Quality Education
  • Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Goal 10: Reduced Inequality
  • Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals


We have refined our sustainability offering and portfolio of services can be seen here. If you need support on your own sustainability mission, we would love to partner with you. Give us a shout!


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