b'perspective. Despite the AASB standard becomingand ambiguous (VUCA) environment, businesses mandatory in Australia, companies will still beneed the ability to stay ahead of the curve by expected to communicate with stakeholders aboutanticipating and rapidly responding to changes in their contribution to the SDGs through voluntarytheir environment. The failure to adequately adapt reporting. to changing circumstances is detrimental to business CORPORATE PURPOSE & THE SDGS success and therefore known as the incumbents curse. As a result of globalisation and the significant Both corporate purpose and the SDGs are expectedimpact of human activity on the planets climate to redefine the nature of business and contributeand ecosystems (also known as the Anthropocene), to solving grand challenges such as the climatebusiness environments, however, are shaped by crisis. However, the relationship between thesebroader trends and developments that are often not two is unclear. In my PhD project, I interviewedimmediately visible. Knowing how to leverage the managers of ten large Australian companies andSDGs provides businesses with a powerful compass found how the SDGs influence companies adoptionthat allows them to both steer the transformation and implementation ofbroader corporate purposeneeded to achieve the SDGs (Breuer et al., 2018) beyond profit maximization. The study revealedas well as expand their capabilities and identify that the influence depends on the SDG integrationopportunities to innovate their business model (a level 3 . It was more significant when the companiesconscious renewal of a firms core business logic) and implemented the SDGs at a normative leveloutperform their competitors (Rosati et al., 2022).compared to compared to those implementing the SDGs at a strategic and/or operational level.LEGAL SECTOR & THE SDGSThe companies that implemented the SDGs at a normative level viewed the SDGs as a sharedThe legal sector has an important role to play in language with their stakeholders 4 , which madeadvancing the SDGs (Dernbach, 2017). In turn, the them align corporate purpose narratives with thetransition to sustainability in both governmental SDGs to engage stakeholders. The SDGs alsoand private sector decision making is inevitable, inspired employees to act on broader corporateand will profoundly affect the legal profession purpose and shifted their everyday business(American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on practices to more sustainable ways.Sustainable Development, 2015, p. 4). Legal professionals can leverage their long-standing trajectory with sustainability issues in the form of compliance and business risk management. Lawyers need an understanding of global issue and how the relate to local issues. They can often see past the obvious and find the social and economic benefits in environmental regulation (Dernbach, 2017). As a result, they are uniquely positioned to learn from and communicate the interconnectedness of the SDGs. On the other hand, the SDGs can provide lawyers with a lens for productively addressing all legal problems and for helping clients make better Source: Sasaki et.al, (in press) decisions (Dernbach, 2017). A holistic approach involves law firms implementing the SDGs in Escaping the Incumbents Curse: The SDGs as atheir internal sustainability efforts (e.g. diversity, Pathway for Business Model innovation environmental footprint, organisational culture) as well as their external sustainability efforts (e.g. Alignment with the Sustainable Developmentadvisory, leveraging their network to advance the Goals (SDGs) creates a pathway for firms to remainSDGs, pro bono work). and apply them to three competitive and overcome the incumbents curseareas, e.g. internal sustainabilitygender equality, (van Tulder & Lucht, 2019). To successfully competeexternal sustainabilityliving wage, advisory service in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex,- finance and investment. 1.Australian Accounting Standards Board (2023), Exposure Draft ED SR1 Australian Sustainability Reporting StandardsDisclosure of Climate-related Financial Information. 2.Adams et al. (2021), The double-materiality concept: Application and issues.3.Sasaki K., Stubbs W. and Farrelly M. (in press), The influence of the sustainable development goals on large companies adoption and implementation of a broader corporate purpose. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society.4.Stubbs, W., Dahlmann, F. and Raven, R. (2022), The Purpose Ecosystem and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Interactions Among Private Sector Actors and Stakeholders. Journal of Business Ethics, 180(4), 1097-1112, doi: 10.1007/s10551-022-05188-w.37'