Colin Curtis is the founder of Support the Goals, an initiative to recognise the businesses helping to make a better world.
What do you currently do at Support the Goals?
www.supportthegoals.org is an initiative to research, rate, and recognise businesses that are supporting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you’ve not come across these before, these are 17 goals to tackle poverty, inequality, and climate change by 2030. They were agreed by every world leader in 2015.
I am passionate about helping business leaders understand the importance of balancing people, planet and profit, and the vital role businesses can play in achieving the SDGs.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Most businesses are doing great things, but the majority of them aren’t aware that what they do contributes to these global goals. In fact, most aren’t even aware that they exist! These goals are increasingly of interest to customers, employees, and investors, so it’s important for them to understand more about the goals and how they communicate their support.
We created the initiative to research and share how industry leaders, innovators, and everyday businesses are supporting these goals, and we developed a rating system as a way to build friendly competition.
We felt that most businesses will only get behind the goals if their customers ask them to, so we focus a lot of our efforts on researching the supply chains of large businesses and sharing this with their customers.
Who do you admire?
As a big believer in the importance of the natural world, I’m a huge fan of David Attenborough. He’s done more to educate people and change behaviour than anyone else I can think of.
From a business point of view, I’m quite a fan of Simon Sinek. I love the simplicity of his style and his ability to remind us of what’s really important.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Yes and no. There’s things I’ve tried that haven’t worked, but I’m a big believer that you need these experiences to learn. So I probably wouldn’t have changed anything.
What defines your way of doing business?
I like to focus on the ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet, and profit. We need to treat people well, look after our planet, and make sure we’re profitable. Businesses that don’t keep an eye on those three things aren’t sustainable.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Keep it simple, have confidence in your own ability, don’t be afraid to get things wrong, and listen to other people – particularly those with a different viewpoint to yourself.