Sustainable Development Goals: Why, What, How?

A biweekly article series to get a grasp of the SDGs

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, countries all over the world will combine efforts in order to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. In this article series we aim to familiarize you with the SDGs, and what actions your organization could take to live up to them.

Sustainable Development Goals: A business perspective

In June 2017 we started the Sustainable Development Goals Blog Series. This series includes 17 blogs that are entirely dedicated to each of the goals. Now, almost one year later, we wrap up the series with a booklet that includes all of our blogs.

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SDGs: A business perspective

SDG Goal #1: No Poverty

With more than 800 million people still living on less than US$1.25 a day - poverty remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Poverty has many consequences; no access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation are only a couple of them.

Read the blog here.

SDG Goal #2: No Hunger

Extreme hunger and malnutrition are still a huge barrier to development in many countries. About 795 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished as of 2014. This is mostly causes by environmental degradation, drought and loss of biodiversity.

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SDG Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

At this moment in time, more than 6 million children still die before their fifth birthday every year, hundreds of women die during pregnancy or from child-birth related complications, only 56 percent of births are attended by skilled professionals, and AIDS is now the leading cause of death among teenagers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read the blog here.

SDG Goal #4: Quality Education

Ongoing armed conflict has seen an increase in the number of children out of school. Also, children from the poorest households are up to 4 times more likely to be out of school than children of the richest households. Disparities between rural and urban areas also remain high.

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SDG Goal #5: Gender Equality

Gender inequality still occurs everywhere in the world. This can range from huge inequalities in the labour market in some regions, to sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public office.

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SDG Goal #6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people around the world. This is estimated to increase significantly due to global warming, increasing drought and desertification. It is only a matter of time before at least 1 in 4 people will be affected by water shortages.

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SDG Goal #7: Renewable Energy

As the global population continuous to rise, so will the demand for cheap energy, which is found by relying on fossil fuels. This increases the greenhouse gas emissions significantly, unless we start investing in renewable energies.

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SDG Goal #8: Good Jobs and Economic Growth

Although the global economy continues to recover and the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined, there are still widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labour force.

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SDG Goal #9: Innovation and Infrastructure

Two drivers that are crucial to economic growth and equal access to information, are infrastructure and innovation. Especially with over half the world population now living in cities, and the fact that 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet.

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SDG Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities

Income inequality is on the rise: the richest 10 percent is earning up to 40 percent of total global income, whilst the poorest 10 percent earn only between 2 percent and 7 percent of total global income. This requires the adoption of policies that empower the lower income earners, despite of their sex, race or ethnicity.

Read the blog here.

SDG Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

By 2050, more than 6.5 billion people will live in urban areas. This is two-thirds of all humanity. Extreme poverty is often concentrated in these urban spaces, and governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. It is therefore essential to come up with a sustainable planning in order to have safe and affordable housing and proper infrastructure.

Read the blog here.

SDG Goal #12: Responsible Consumption

Reducing our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources, is essential to achieve economic growth and sustainable development. This can range from efficient management of our shared natural resources, the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants, to recycling and reducing waste.

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SDG Goal #13: Climate Action

There is no country or person in the world that is not experiencing the effects of climate change: earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones, to name a few of the drastic consequences. The changing climate can have a long-lasting impact on our climate system, which makes it essential to take action now!

Read the blog here.

SDG Goal #14: Life Below Water

The world’s oceans drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. In addition, over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Protecting this vital resource is therefore essential for humanity.

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SDG Goal #15: Life on Land

Land degradation, the loss of arable land, drought and desertification rises every single year. This leads to the loss of 12 million hectares, it affects poor communities on a global scale, and leads to the fact that 8% of the animal kingdom is extinct and 22% are at risk of extinction. Urgent action therefore needs to be taken in order to prevent this from happening.

Read the blog here.

SDG Goal #16: Peace and Justice

Sustainable development cannot be reached without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance. The world is clearly divided, and this is expected to increase even more. Some countries have the luck of experiencing sustained levels of peace, while other countries are trapped in endless cycles of conflict and violence.

Read the blog here.

SDG Goal #17: Partnerships for the Goals

Today, the world is more interconnected than ever before. This can be of great help in improving access to technology and knowledg and to help developing countries in managing their debt.

Read the blog here.

More information?

If you have questions about the SDGs and how it can impact your organization, please contact Jeffrey Colin via the contact details below.

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