For more than one year now the global COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to turn the whole world upside down. With the current outroll of vaccines gaining traction, there is finally a sense of relief in the air, going hand in hand with an eagerness to finally push through and start to rebuild what has been shattered.

Building back is one thing, but this time we should not miss the great chance to build back better. More than ever it has been made apparent that global partnerships and a strengthened multilateralism are core principles if we are to solve the world’s problems together. Governments, scientists, academia, civil society and the private sector, everyone needs to come together! Collaboration is key! Especially working with unconventional partners can result in breakthroughs that would not have been possible otherwise. We tend to have preconceptions on how something should be done, but it is diversity of thought that often leads to success.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set bei the United Nations is definitely not going to be an easy feat. Yet, what better objective than preserving the precious but fragile global ecosystem we call home? What better aim than achieving a better and more sustainable future for everyone?

Ambitious are the goals, and just as ambitious have to be the collaborative efforts, on global and local levels, in order to tackle the complex systemic transformations necessary to reach our targets.

Great examples of successful cooperation can be found in the Circular Economy Switzerland (CES), a vast network of private companies and public organisations, fostering creative solutions and innovative initiatives and striving to transition the linear economy model to a circular economy in Switzerland. One of those initiatives is #movethedate Switzerland. Supported by the Promotion Fund “Engagement Migros” of Switzerland’s largest retail company, they started a movement committed to postponing “overshoot day” (the day we exhaust all natural resources available to us for one year) by promoting projects and companies that already prove that it can be done differently. Another great initiative is Make Furniture Circular. Over the years fast furniture has become the new normal, sharing the growing waste problem with fast fashion, while it’s components are even harder to dispose of. Make Furniture Circular is giving fresh impetus to the swiss furniture retail market, creating new futureproof products by design thinking, innovative business models and in direct dialog with suppliers. 

With an Innovation Hub in Amsterdam, the global initiative “Fashion for Good” is on the mission to make all fashion good. By sparking and scaling innovation, by offering practical action in the form of support, funding and roadmaps, and by fostering sector-wide collaboration rather than competition, they enable the daring invention and widespread adoption of good fashion practice. They work directly alongside the most promising Innovators, bringing them together with market players, i.e. brands, retailers and manufacturers, in order to make it easier for them to work together effectively, bridge the innovation gap and bring these innovations to the mainstream. These corporates benefit from our innovation scouting and screening capabilities, comprehensive technology landscaping and our hands-on support in piloting and scaling innovations. In 2018 they opened the doors to the Fashion for Good museum in Amsterdam, which tells the stories behind the clothes we wear and how our choices for those clothes can have a positive impact on the fashion industry.

Cooperation has the potential to achieve impressive results. Companies’ increased participation in collaborative efforts is advancing awareness of social, environmental, and governance risks, but also awareness of business opportunities. Across societal sectors collaboration emerged as one of the defining concepts of international development in the 21st century. Partnership has grown from a response to the limitations of traditional development approaches into an essential paradigm in sustainable development.

The financial, natural and human resources of our planet are limited, and it is time for us to optimize their use. At the fundamental core of successful cooperation is the ability to bring varied resources together and so enable better achievements. Increased value for all, greater sustainability, more impact!  

To support and bring recognition to best practices, Mercer and Institutional Money have initiated The Money 4 Change – Impact Awards. Presented in four categories, the awards will highlight Asset Owners, Corporates, Entrepreneurs and Cooperation.

Today, we invite Asset Owners, Corporates and Entrepreneurs who have jointly (with at least 2 of the categories listed) achieved a successful implementation of one of the SDG goals or jointly implemented innovative solutions to apply until April 16, 2021 here.

The minimum requirements for Asset Owners/Corporates are:

The minimum requirements for Entrepreneurs are:

In April 2021, a short list of twelve finalists – three per category – will be disclosed. The final winners will be announced at the gala evening during the „Institutional Money Congress“ in Wiesbaden on May 26, 2021.

In addition, the winners are going to present their solutions at the „Impact Days“, an annual community gathering of professionals interested in mainstreaming impact. Held later this year in Vienna, 400 professionals working in innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment for impact across Europe are looking at what already works, and what still needs to be done for the transition towards the impact economy.

Find out more about the awards, the jury and the application process here.