SDGs – What are SDGs?

SDGs stands for sustainable development goals, also known as global goals,  are an international collaboration between multi-stakeholders engagement that incorporates the inputs and insights of governments, businesses, intergovernmental organizations and civil society, to protect people and nature.

SDG goals were adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at the General Assembly in September 2015, to address issues such as ending poverty, hunger, AIDS, and discrimination to mention a few. More globally, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals must protect the planet and ensure that all people in the world enjoy peace and prosperity. 

SDGs call for the participation of all stakeholders, especially businesses, to use their creativity and innovation to solve the development challenges we are facing right now.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG goals)?

SDGs are developed around 17 sustainable development goals to produce a set of universal purposes to fight against the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges. The 17 goals are shortly described here:

  • SDG 1-No Poverty: Increasing basic resources and services, supporting communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters  
  • SDG 2-Zero hunger: To promote sustainable agriculture, supporting small-scale farmers, providing equal access to land, thanks to technology and markets
  • SDG 3-Good health and wellbeing: To reduce mortality, deaths of newborns and children, but also by preventing epidemics and diseases
  • SDG 4-Quality education: To ensure equal access to affordable educational trainings without disparities
  • SDG 5-Gender equality: To give women equal rights, land and property, provide with sexual and reproductive health, and to technology and the internet
  • SDG 6-Clean water and sanitation: To invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene
  • SDG 7-Affordable and clean energy: Investing in solar, wind and thermal power, improving energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all
  • SDG 8-Decent work and economic growth: To encourage entrepreneurship, technological innovation and job creation, to eradicate slavery and human trafficking
  • SDG 9-Industry, innovation and infrastructure: To promote sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research and innovation
  • SDG 10-Reduced inequalities: To provide employment to lower income earners, and promote economic inclusion of everyone regardless of sex, race or ethnicity
  • SDG 11-Sustainable cities and communities: To create career opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and build resilient societies and economies by investing in public transport and creating green public spaces
  • SDG 12-Responsible consumption and production: To urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources
  • SDG 13-Climate action: To integrate natural resource management and human security into national development strategies with the objective of tackling climate change, also with the aid of education 
  • SDG 14-Life below water: To sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from factors such as pollution, as well as address the impacts of ocean acidification and biodiversity loss
  • SDG 15-Life on land: To reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation, adaptation, peace and security
  • SDG 16-Peace, justice and strong institutions: To reduce violence, conflict and insecurity, promoting the rule of law and human rights, reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
  • SDG 17-Partnerships for the goals: To promote international trade, and help developing countries increase their exports for achieving a universal rules-based and equitable trading system that is fair and open for all

Why are SDGs important?

First SDGs are important because they address everyone directly or indirectly, thus they result to be highly relevant. In fact, they provide guidance for resolving the global challenges facing the international community. That is to say, protecting the natural foundations of life and our planet everywhere and for everyone, and preserving people’s possibilities to live in dignity and prosperity across generations. 

Sustainable Development Goals are essential because not only they tackle the measurable changes in the well-being of people, economic development of countries and environmental sustainability, but also in the means of how these changes shall be settled by all stakeholders.

How to incorporate SDGs in business strategy?

SDGs enable alignment between corporate strategy and the needs of today’s society. If they are integrated in companies, for example via ESG strategy implementation, they could generate benefits for them like: 

  • Development of business processes, sustainable products and new innovating solutions
  • Attractiveness as an employer for young talents, and higher retention rates
  • New partnerships and synergies
  • Positive reputation and brand image

There is an increasing demand for sustainable products and solutions. This is why businesses must respond to this sustainable demand by adapting their economic system, to move towards durable development. According to 17 goals magazine, 72% of companies mention the SDGs in their corporate or sustainable report and they already contribute to sustainable development in: 

  • Focusing on the well-being of their employees
  • Knowing how the supply chains operate
  • Being aware of measures for reducing their carbon footprint
  • Paying employees fairly 
  • Investing in the common good

Agenda 2030 SDGs

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals provides a common set of goals. It was built on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals that preceded them. The Agenda 2030 SDGs places equality and dignity front and center takes care of the means of implementation to achieve this change. 

The agenda of ONU SDG 2030 consists of coordinating and evaluating countries on their sustainable development strategies for achieving objectives and reporting the results. Inside the 17 goals there are 169 sub-goals composed of 242 global indicators to measure SDG. That several indicators must be divided according to relevant categories like gender, age, geographical location etc. 

For some of them, there is already significant methodological compliance, while for others, data collection and scientific research are fundamental to develop appropriate metrics. Thus, the use of non-traditional data collection methods is increasing for example through the use of citizen science. The agenda 2030 needs strong involvement from all components of society, from private companies to the public sector, but also from civil society to information and culture operators.

There is a need for the private sector to be involved in the achievement of the SDGs, particularly to address the lack of investment in the achievement of some of the global goals. For example, public-private partnerships (PPPs) would increase access to capital, foster sustainable innovation, improve access to services, and help transfer risk.

How to achieve sustainable development goals with OutBe?

OutBe is an innovative startup that supports companies in creating and implementing a sustainable brand aligned with the SDGs. OutBe’s business services target employees’ wellbeing (SDG 3) as practicing outdoor activities in nature improves physical and mental health. 

Moreover, through actions of citizen science, anyone can collect precious data that helps conserving and protecting the environment, and its biodiversity thus contributing to SDGs 13, 14 and 15.

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