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Sage launches ‘Knocking Down Barriers’ sustainability & society strategy

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Sage launches ‘Knocking Down Barriers’ sustainability & society strategy

The goal of Sage’s new sustainability and society strategy, Knocking Down Barriers, is to tackle societal and economic inequality as well as support a new generation of diverse and sustainable businesses.

Worldwide, Sage serves millions of small and medium size businesses (SMBs). In our Return to Growth survey, we found that the majority of SMBs are strongly committed to addressing their environmental and social impact. Over 80% of SMBs think that the recovery should be used as an opportunity to promote sustainability and a third prioritize education and skills as crucial for long-term economic growth. 

To achieve this ambition, Sage is building on our five successful years of Sage Foundation with a focus on three strategic pillars:

  1. Fuel for business: Tackling economic inequality by supporting underrepresented groups 

Starting and growing a business is a proven route to long-term employment and high job satisfaction as well as wealth creation, but many people lack the confidence, skills, and financial support to seize this opportunity.

Sage will provide strong digital and financial foundations for businesses and start-ups run by underrepresented groups to help tackle economic inequality.

In the United States, our commitment includes: 

  • A partnership with The BOSS Network for a three-year program to provide support and guidance to help Black women across the U.S. achieve their goals with everything that’s needed to successfully start and grow new businesses.
  • Support for small businesses in Atlanta, home to our U.S. headquarters, with business advisory and lending services for underserved and minority communities through a partnership with ACE (Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs).
  • A three-year global partnership with non-profit lending platform Kiva aimed at improving financial inclusion in communities that find it hard to start or grow their businesses, initially supporting 12,000 entrepreneurs.
  1. Protect the planet: Tackling the climate crisis by powering sustainable business models

As well as supporting SMEs to understand and address their environment impact, we are committed to achieving Net Zero by 2040 across scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by reducing the impact of our business operations, cutting emissions by 50% by 2030, and effectively managing our supply chain impact. 

We are also committing to the SBTi (science-based target initiative), the UN climate change Race to Zero and signing up to the UN Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5°C Pathway. We will continue to participate in the annual CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) and are rated AA by MSCI and low-risk by Sustainalytics, supporting the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

 To achieve our commitments, we will implement emission reduction initiatives, such as:

  • Reducing air travel and hotel stays across the organization 
  • Transitioning to renewable energy in all Sage offices by joining the RE100 Initiative 
  • Transitioning our car fleet to electric vehicles by joining the EV100 Initiative 
  • Engaging with suppliers to better understand their emission reduction plans to mutually benefit our Net Zero journeys 
  • Investing in certified projects to offset any emissions that can’t be cut completely  
  1. Tech for good: Tackling digital inequality for innovation, enterprise and progress

According to the World Economic Forum, 70% of new value created in the global economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled business models. Sage wants everyone to benefit from the opportunities created by this rapid digitalization.

Sage is dedicating its technology, time, and experience to knocking down the barriers to digital equality and diversity in the technology sector.

Building on our longstanding work through Sage Foundation, we are committing to: 

  • Further investment in our Futuremakers program to give young people access to Artificial Intelligence education and awareness via an online learning platform 

Knocking Down Barriers Report – International SME perspectives

We surveyed 11,504 SME decision makers working in businesses employing 250 or fewer people in the UK, U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain, South Africa about their perspectives on sustainability, diversity, community and digital inequality.