In 2015, the United Nations Member States made a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. These 17 integrated global goals are known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others and that development must balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
The US Coalition on Sustainability (USCS), a non-profit that operates like a tech start-up, has a mission to accelerate progress on achieving these goals by 2030 in the decade of action. Their hypothesis: by leveraging the power of technology to unify cross-industry knowledge and open source insights, we can streamline our problem-solving capabilities and collectively leapfrog ahead.
USCS partnered with Thoughtworks to bring their idea for a digital platform, SustainChain™, to life. Together, we set out to prove a systems-based approach to collaboration, enabling:
- Sustainability practitioners to benchmark progress and learn from peers,
- Solutions innovators to find customers and investors to pilot and scale, and
- Impact investors to find the best solutions with proven customer traction to fund.
“We know that systems-based change enabled by the best technology has to offer is a pathway to reaching the level and pace of change that is needed to secure our future. That’s why technologies like SustainChain are so exciting to hear about.”
UN Deputy Secretary-General
Using AWS cloud services, this groundbreaking peer-to-peer platform brings together brands, innovators, and impact investors matched on common goals and focus areas to engage, share, and achieve the SDGs together. Vetted users can create a profile, share their sustainability challenges (e.g., food waste) and solution areas of interest (e.g., circular production design), map them to relevant SDGs (e.g., Zero Hunger), and connect with other individuals who have similar challenges or solutions, or find Collective Ventures to work on together. An Industry Leaderboard tracks member progress on the relevant SDGs.
In just seven weeks Thoughtworks had a private Beta of the SustainChain platform live to early users. Thoughtworks continued to build out more capabilities for the platform to scale and bring on more users and partners before its official public launch at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020. The platform is garnering tremendous traction and support in the industry from leading brands and NGO’s to major industry organizations.
“What we’ve done in five years, now with SustainChain you can do it in five minutes.”
Founder & Designer, Gabriela Hearst
The USCS team is now focused on expansion of the SustainChain™ community, fostering rapid alignment of sustainability initiatives across its member users to the Sustainable Development Goals, and building the analytics engine and intelligence that can accelerate action at scale. Thoughtworks is excited for our continued partnership with USCS as we progress on our journey to drive sustainability through technology.
SustainChain founding partners include:
17 Asset Management | Alante Capital | Apparel Impact Institute | APAX | Alliance for a Climate Resilient Earth | Asket | Blue Chip Foundation | BPCM | Considerate Group | Closed Loop Capital | Fashion for Good | Gabriela Hearst | IMAGINE | Qlik | Leaders on Purpose | NBC Universal | Purpose and Perspective | Salesforce | Sustainable Brands | Textile Exchange | The Seed Lab | Unilever | United Nations | UN Foundation | UN Office on Partnerships | UN Global Compact | UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network | Verizon