It's not what you do but why you do it


Every business in every industry sector has environmental and human rights risks, impacts and responsibilities.

The challenge for business lies not only in identifying its risks and responsibilities, but in implementing effective strategies to mitigate impacts and achieve positive business, environmental and human rights outcomes.

It's about embracing sustainability in its broadest definition.

Businesses with a purpose beyond just profit command greater customer, supplier and employee loyalty, along with greater resilience in a changing global environment. Successful businesses see their customers as more than just consumers and their supply chains as more than just providers of commodities and services. 

By integrating sustainability into corporate strategies and operational practices, businesses can meet customers’ needs whilst making a difference in the lives of the people working within their supply chains.

At SD Strategies we are passionate about helping businesses align corporate strategies and activities with global sustainable development priorities, producing outcomes that benefit society and the economy – and drive business success.

We love working with businesses that 'get it'.

human rights. sustainability. environment.

It's what we're great at.

Face it - we've all been talking about sustainable development (remember ESD?) for a very long time. Despite the massive challenges facing the planet, we've made some progress. We have witnessed incredible examples of social and environmental improvements and technological progress. We have experienced unprecedented economic growth and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.  Yet despite these successes, our current model of development remains flawed.

At a global level, business, government and civil society are working on that.

At a local level, we use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - the UN’s ambitious targets “to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all” - to provide businesses with a framework for achieving a more socially fair, environmentally secure, economically prosperous and inclusive world. 

We are passionate about helping organisations become more sustainable and contribute to the global goals through our STAR approach:

Sustainable business is “where our moral compass meets our bottom line.”
— paul polman, Ceo unilever
Strategy and systems.jpeg

Strategy and systems design


Training and capability development


Auditing environmental and social impacts



Risk assessment and management


Working with a diverse range of small, medium and large organisations for the past 25 years has provided us with insight, experience and the know-how to align corporate values, systems and strategies with stakeholder expectations and global goals.

In a nutshell we know what works - and what doesn't.



creating a better world for all

human rights


The business and human rights agenda has evolved significantly in recent years, and there is now global recognition that business is a vehicle for the promotion and realisation of human rights.

In 2011, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provided the first global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity.  These principles continue to provide the internationally-accepted framework for enhancing standards and practices with regard to business and human rights.

We work with businesses to shape policy, advance practice and strengthen accountability in order to make respect for human rights part of everyday business. 

With the imminent release of the Commonwealth and New South Wales modern slavery acts, we are well positioned to assist businesses in meeting their reporting requirements. We continue to work with businesses across many industry sectors including:


We develop systems and processes that not only align with reporting requirements, but ensure modern slavery is eradicated from internal business operations and extended supply chains. 

To enhance our impact and extend our reach, we have teamed up with the Salvation Army's Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery and respected Australian law firm Mills Oakley, to establish a Modern Slavery Practice Area. You can read more about the partnership here.


strategy & systems

There is a strong moral and ethical case to support the notion that business entities should integrate human rights principles into business practices. Avoiding complicity in human rights abuses is an important challenge for business, particularly when addressing human rights risks in supply chains. We'll assist you to you integrate human rights considerations into your existing management systems, operations, business and procurement strategies. You should not assume that everything is okay within your supply chain.

Trust us on that. 


Through creative and interactive training programs we continue to educate and engage boards, management and staff in human rights discussions and problem solving activities. We undertake training needs analysis to help you better align training needs to key roles and responsibilities. We'll work with you to identify and develop function-specific human rights training for procurement employees, sales and export staff, human resources staff, security staff, supervisors and managers. We can also develop human rights training programs for key suppliers and contractors. 


Understanding and responding to human rights and social impact risks and opportunities can be complex and daunting. We'll work closely with you to identify and assess the human rights risks affecting your businesses. This may include social and human rights risks within your own operations, or ethical sourcing and labour practices in your supply chain. We'll help you identify high risk suppliers and undertake desk-top or on-site supplier audits to better address human rights and modern slavery risks in your supply chain.



The introduction of the UN Guiding Principles has heightened global awareness of the risks that corporate activity brings to people, and of the resulting risks to business. Failing to address human rights issues can damage brand and reputation and bring an increased risk of litigation. We understand the legislation and the risks and will help you manage them effectively, while enhancing your social license-to-operate, build trust and achieve better outcomes for your business and your community.


making businesses better


To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.

Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders.
— Larry Fink, CEO Blackrock

When we established our business in the late 90's sustainability was just a buzz word. Now it's an essential part of business vocabulary, values and management approaches.

We love working with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As 2030 approaches, many companies are creating innovative ways to track progress towards the SDGs, while others are encouraging the transformation of the SDGs from a corporate social responsibility sector to an integral business process which can impact savings and returns. 

When a money-minded publication like Fortune says, “Like it or not, sustainability is now the core of your business,” you know a seismic shift in corporate social responsibility is taking place. And we're proud to be part of that shift.


strategy & systems

Great ideas are usually simple ideas. Aligning business strategy to the principles of sustainable development is good for business. Mapping these strategies to recognised international standards makes sense. We know our way around ISO 26000 and 20400 and the principles of sustainable development. We'll work with you to translate your sustainability vision into action.


Getting buy-in on sustainability across all levels of your organisation will only be achieved through effective capacity building, training and employee engagement. We have trained numerous businesses in key sustainability principles and the SDGs and help staff and management align global goals with their own priorities and work programs. It's the "ah-ha" moments that make us tick.


Sustainability audits come in many forms. We can assess your operations against SDG targets, your own sustainability commitments or State and local government priorities. We'll help you identify what's material to you and where to focus resources. Our audit and evaluation processes take the guess work out of it for you and helps you identify and address key sustainability issues, risks and opportunities. 



According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2016  the top five long-term risks (both impact and likelihood) are sustainability risks: water crises, failure to mitigate climate change, extreme weather events, food crises and profound social instability. It's clear that sustainability risks are business risks too. We'll help you map your business processes to sustainability risk, develop action plans to address the risks and support you to realise key business opportunities.


working with business


We've assisted hundreds of businesses to develop environmental management systems, audited other businesses against theirs, written plans, strategies and training programs and conducted risk assessments.  We help businesses, government, NGOs and community groups identify environmental improvement opportunities and have worked on:

  • litter and waste management programs

  • stormwater, wastewater and water sensitive urban design initiatives

  • energy and carbon management projects

  • climate change adaptation strategies. 

We continue to support businesses with environmental improvement programs using our STAR approach to maximise business outcomes.


strategy & systems

Integrated business systems and strategies are essential for achieving business goals. We can help you align your environmental management goals and targets to other business systems such as WHS, quality, risk and HR. We can provide expertise in developing ISO 9001, 14001, 31000 and 45001 aligned processes. 


We love developing and delivering training courses. And we're great at it. We have trained businesses in environmental awareness and management. We've also trained local and State government regulators on their powers under environmental legislation (but don't hold that against us.) Our training courses are fun, engaging and informative.


We see auditing as a value add for any business. We're not scary auditors and we work closely with businesses to identify weaknesses and opportunities. Whether you are after compliance-based audits, systems audits or operational audits, we're here to help. We provide meaningful audit reports and realistic recommendations. In short, we add value.



We regard risk assessment and management as a prioritisation exercise. Let us help you identify your environmental risks, assess them against clearly defined likelihood and consequence descriptors and work with you on developing actions to address the highest priority risks. Of course we can go further than all depends on your risk appetite.