At Hogan Lovells, Good Citizenship is one of our core values. Our Citizenship strategy is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and last year over 6,000 people across our 48 global offices devoted more than 200,000 hours to projects across our five key strands of pro bono legal advice, community investment, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and matched charitable giving.
It’s important that our people are engaged with the SDGs as in so doing they can better understand the global issues which our Citizenship programme seeks to address, but they can also begin to consider some of the ways in which the SDGs offer opportunities for our business. The goals were designed with the private sector in mind and we want to educate our people on why the SDGs are both a call to action for us as global citizens, but also for us as a responsible business.
Our global Citizenship partner is Barefoot College , a global not for profit social enterprise based out of India, and over the next three years we will work together to train 400 women from rural communities in developing countries to become solar engineers. As part of the community investment element of the partnership, we worked with Think Global to develop our education curriculum which we have already begun delivering at our partner schools: educating students about Barefoot College, renewable energy, and the SDGs.
Following the success of the community investment programme, we again worked with Think Global to create a one hour interactive training seminar to educate our people about the SDGs. We recently piloted this in our London office with 100 colleagues from across the firm participating in the seminar. Attendees learned what the SDGs are, the ways in which our global partnership with Barefoot College helps achieve seven of the 17 goals, and some of the ways in which our major clients are integrating the SDGs into their day-to-day business operations.
As part of the evaluation process we asked our people to share what they had learned and also to provide suggestions for ways in which our firm could support the SDGs. Many ideas were submitted, some of which we are pleased to report we are already doing and there are others which we can take forward. Crucially, our colleagues now have a better understanding of how business can align with the SDGs and the opportunities they present the private sector.
The training will be delivered again in London and in some of our global offices in the autumn.
Debra Hay is Corporate Responsibility Manager, Hogan Lovells International LLP
Image: A women training to become a solar engineer with Barefoot College, Hogan Lovells’ global Citizenship partner.