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Business and Sustainable Development Goals

Business and Sustainable Development Goals

Business and Sustainable Development Goals

“Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all."

 

A growing number of companies are taking steps to be more responsible in areas of employee treatment, sustainability of the communities they serve, and the planet. In fact, customers, employees, and clients expect a company to act responsibly and do no harm to society, especially younger generations.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the United Nations that build a path to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and protect our planet. The main list includes the following:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequality
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on land
  16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships to Achieve the Goal

Let’s focus our attention on Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

 

Sustainable Development Goals

The UN explains: “Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.”

The entire SDG 12 has 11 targets and 13 indicators in the full report.  Here are some of the goals that your company can put into practice to get started.

 

Supply

12.2 Sustainable management and use of natural resources. By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

 

Waste Management

12.4 Responsible management of chemicals and waste. Achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks by 2020.

 

Sustainability

12.5 Substantially reduce waste generation. By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

12.8 Promote universal understanding of sustainable lifestyles. Ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature by 2030.

It boils down to doing more and better with less.  Meeting the goals can increase net welfare gains through resource conservation practices, producing less pollution along entire life cycle, and increasing quality of life for all involved. But it also includes educating the public on sustainable lifestyles and consumption by provided adequate information through standards and labels. 

The hope is that companies make our world’s problems better instead of worse. Doing good in one area does not offset harm in other areas. The framework is there along with proof that being a sustainable company also brings more profits.

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