SDG #1: Eradicating poverty in all its forms by 2030
Sustainable Development Goals Blog Series
On January 1st, 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force. Over the next 15 years, with these 17 goals, countries will combine efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. In this article we aim to familiarize you with SDG Goal #1: No Poverty, and what actions your organization can take to achieve this goal.
By Jennifer Muller | 27-06-2017
SDG Goal #1: No Poverty is a commitment to end all forms of poverty by 2030. This is not only related to income and wage, but also related to social protection, equal rights to resources, ownership, basic rights and property, and resilience of the vulnerable to climate, social and economic shocks. The 6 sub-goals that are set for this target relate to those subjects.
For businesses, two factors can be identified which illustrate the importance to get engaged with SDG 1.
Attract talent and create internal support
Working with SDG 1 makes fighting poverty a tangible topic because of the specific goals and sub-goals of the SDG. Subjects related to poverty like hunger and income inequality are seen as important by many employees being part of the newer generation. According to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2017, 43 percent of the millennials is concerned about hunger, health care and income inequality worldwide. In addition, 56% is concerned about political tension and war, making those topics the highest scoring ones on the list. All those topics are related to poverty or its consequences. For businesses that operate in developed countries, engaging with these topics can create enthusiasm, leverage and internal support from its employees. On the other hand, for businesses located in developing countries, it can improve the living conditions of its employees. This in turn can lead to employee productivity.
Create business and markets
A business case can be found in many of the actions. These businesses cases can be based, among others, on market demand (with products and services for poorer people), cost savings (having solid health and safety policies so that health costs decrease) and increased productivity ( such as offering employees stability via financial support). As can be seen by the previous examples, the impact of the business model could directly and indirectly contribute to societal development.
There are two specific actions that businesses can take in order to contribute to the realization of SDG 1.
- Use your business model
In order to get engaged with SDG 1, one of the actions that can be taken is to evaluate and – if necessary – adapt the business model. For example, to make products more affordable in lower-income parts of the country, partnerships could be established with local organisations whereby lower prices could be offered to specific groups. Instead of competing with local organisations when it comes to targeting lower income groups (such as via patents), cooperation can be valuable for both parties. As a specific sector example, businesses using agriculture in their supply chain could start to incorporate smallholders into their supply chain (such as via using local sourced fiber). This can create reputational benefits and loyalty from (potential) customers. It also contributes to fighting poverty since smallholder’s households see agriculture as the best opportunity to get out of poverty. This statement is valid as agriculture is up to 4 times more effective in reducing poverty than other sectors, according to WDR (2008). Businesses in many sectors use agriculture in their supply chain, which means much benefit can be gained.
- Use the process of product development
Companies with a strong focus on product development could contribute to SDG 1 by developing specific products for the lower-income part of society. For a company in the chemicals or food sector, one could think of developing products with extra nutrition for a lower price, so it can contribute to fighting hunger. This can be developed for a specific market on top of the usual product line, and with that, it can also create a new business model for the company with a new business case.
More examples can be found in a diverse range of sectors, such as offering micro-insurance products to lower-income groups. Also packaging can be taken into account, for example by selling quality products in small unit packages for low-income countries. This makes products more affordable and can mean new market opportunities for businesses.
Sustainable Development Goals Blog Series
This blog is part of the Sustainable Development Blog Series: a blog series that highlights the 17 SDGs one by one on a biweekly basis. In these blogs you will find more information about each SDG, why it is important for your organisation to contribute to the achievement of it, and specific examples of how you can do that.
For more information about the Sustainable Development Goals and what your organisation can do to contribute, please contact Anne Huibrechtse-Truijens via firstname.lastname@example.org / +31882882071