If you read any company sustainability strategy or report, it’s likely that it will contain one of the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what do these actually mean for organisations as they look to create a better future for people and the planet through environmental, social and governance (ESG) actions?
The list of goals was created by the UN to target the key areas for development in relation to the 2030 global transformation agenda. In less than nine years, and beyond, the organisation is committed to granting people their human rights and fulfilment throughout their daily lives, to minimise the impact of commerce and the public sector on the environment, to bring peace to communities around the world, and allow partners to join on the journey.
What are the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The list of SDGs is comprehensive and aims to act upon all global issues. This list includes:
- No poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and well-being
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Clean water and sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Reduced inequalities
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Responsible consumption and production
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life on land
- Peace, justice and strong institutions
- Partnerships for the goals
Organisations are implementing Sustainable Development Goals
Since this set of goals was conceptualised, there has been a significant uptake in commitments towards some of these targets. The LEGO Group is following the solution with its commitments to SDG 4, which forms a huge part of its sustainability strategy as it aims to provide better education for young individuals.
Meanwhile, Hilton Hotels is supporting sustainable cities and communities through its commitment to SDG 11 and hopes to reduce negative climate impacts, resulting from unsustainable urban development. Nike — which has experienced some controversy in previous years over the production of its goods — is now working towards SDG 12 to ensure responsible consumption and production throughout its supply chain to drive responsible sourcing.
As more companies highlight their strategic sustainability plans, we will see more firms implementing UN SDGs in the future.
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