The What and Why of Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of interrelated global goals that aim to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

Keisha Sintim-Lewis
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The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of interrelated global goals that aim to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In September 2015 at a UN Summit, 193 world leaders came together to set out the 17 SDGs and 169 targets. They cover a broad range of social and economic development issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, and energy. They also draw on the experience of countries which have already achieved development gains—and have faced challenges along the way.

The need for new sustainable development goals arose because many countries across the globe had failed to achieve their Millennium Development Goals targets on time; meanwhile, climate change had become an increasingly pressing concern due to rapid temperature rises and increased frequency of natural disasters over recent decades. There was also a growing awareness about how important it is for humans not just to survive but thrive in harmony with nature rather than against it (this concept is known as “sustainable development”).

Why are the Sustainable Development Goals Important?

The Sustainable Development Goals shouldn’t be seen as a list of things that we have to do but as an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and governments to measure progress towards a brighter future. By working together – progress can be made on key issues like climate change, poverty, and hunger.

For example, the latest IPCC Synthesis Report stresses the critical urgency for organisations and industries to decarbonise and reach net zero emissions. The SDGs provide a framework for businesses to make positive steps to decarbonise and support the progress towards a brighter future.

Supporting the SDGs will also have a knock-on effect on a business’s brand perception. 79% of consumers indicated they had reduced their use of a brand if they had discovered it was acting in an unsustainable way. Businesses actively involved in the SDGs can improve their brand affinity and retain customers by being purpose driven.

Measuring success will promote global collaboration to understand what works and what doesn’t to ensure we’re on track with our efforts toward creating a better world. It will give us an idea of the steps we need to take to achieve the goals by 2030.

How can your Business achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

The UN 2030 sustainable development goals are a framework for businesses to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability. To implement these goals within your business, you can follow the following steps:

Establish a business-wide sustainability strategy.

Building a business-wide sustainability strategy will help you identify and prioritise the issues your business would like to address to support the SDGs. They should include metrics for measuring success. Through our sustainability certification – certified members can directly contribute to up to 9 SDGs addressing 18 SDG targets.

Planet Marks business certification is a recognised mark of your business’s commitment to building a brighter world. Through our business certification, our members measure, and reduce their carbon emissions by around 11% annually.

Set up a green team.

Setting up a green team or sustainability committee within your business can be one of the most empowering and significant initiatives on your sustainability journey.

A green team should include members from all departments to ensure different departments can contribute their expertise, share knowledge, learn from each other’s experiences, and advise management on key decisions related to sustainability initiatives within their departments.

Businesses may be unsure of where to start on building a green team. Our Sustainability Champions Guide outlines the steps needed to help set your team up for success.

Your business can make a Difference for a Brighter Future.

The UN is asking everyone to help make a difference. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an ambitious set of universal goals, targets and indicators that businesses can use as an anchor to support the aim to end all forms of poverty, hunger, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

Businesses can use this opportunity to support the UN in its goal to reach the 17 SDGs by 2030; while ambitious, as a collective, it is achievable. You can work with Planet Mark today to start meeting some of the SDGs goals. Get in contact here.

Net Zero Carbon Essentials Workshop

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