Home / Spiffy's Blog / August Wichert: Assisting Businesses in Effectively Supporting the SDGs
August Wichert: Assisting Businesses in Effectively Supporting the SDGs

August Wichert: Assisting Businesses in Effectively Supporting the SDGs

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with August Wichert, the Environment and Climate Lead of the UN Global Compact Network Canada. Let’s learn about what’s happening there and how August is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi August, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through UN Global Compact Network Canada?

August: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! My organization helps businesses make the world a better place. A lot of business leaders want to support the SDGs and have a positive impact on society. However, many of them don’t know where or how to start. We provide them with tools and programmes for things like gender equality, climate action, and human rights, so they can support those issues at a company level. A more sustainable world is good for business, too, so if they take action, everyone wins.

Spiffy: That’s so true! What motivates you to do it?

August: In my job, I run programmes on environmental topics like climate change and biodiversity. Businesses around the world might cause a lot of harm in these areas, but that also means they have a lot of power to make change. I love working with them because it means I get to see that change in action. I hear first-hand what challenges businesses run into when trying to become more sustainable, which lets me and my team find new ways to help them. Also, my team is amazing. So that definitely helps!

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

August: If one person recycles, that helps the planet in a small but meaningful way. If a whole company does, the impact can be huge—even global. The same goes for every facet of sustainability. We help businesses recognize the power they hold in this area, how to use it, how to work together, and why they should care. It doesn’t matter if they’re setting a climate target, supporting women in leadership, or fighting child labor. When they take action, their impact is magnified by their size.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

August: One of our big recent projects is the government-funded Blueprint for Gender Equality Leadership in the Private Sector, a how-to guide for businesses to address barriers that women face in the workforce. Why does it matter? Because gender equality is unfortunately still an issue, and it can be hard for businesses to move from aspirations to concrete action on it. The Blueprint was built with input from businesses themselves, so they can help others like them. It’s proven very popular!

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

August: Sustainability can feel overwhelming sometimes, when there’s so much to be done, and so many problems in the world that need fixing. The most valuable thing you can do is follow your heart. You don’t have to throw yourself into every issue—that’s what communities and teams and other people like you are for. If you do a bit of good on even one thing, that’s one more thing than the world had before.

Spiffy: I love this outlook! Thanks for speaking with me today, August—it’s been an honor!

August Wichert is the Environment and Climate Sustainability Lead at the UN Global Compact Network Canada. In his day job, he oversees the organization’s environment and climate programme portfolio. Outside work, he can most often be found writing books, identifying trees, and catching pond bugs for fun. (First published on the Ladderworks website on March 23, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.