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United Nations: 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Text that says United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals on a dark blue background next to an image of the 17 goals

In 2015 the United Nations developed The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that sets out a plan ‘for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.’ The goals recognise the need to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and aid economic growth whilst protecting the environment and fighting climate change.  

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What are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

  1. No Poverty: Unfortunately, COVID-19 has pushed more people back into extreme poverty and was the first increase in a generation. 
  2. Zero Hunger: The promotion of improved nutrition and sustainable farming all whilst looking to end hunger across the world. 
  3. Good Health and Well-Being: This goal focuses on people of all ages and wants people to be able to live healthier and more nutritional lives. 
  4. Quality Education: Make education accessible to people all over the world as receiving an education is fundamental to getting out of in poverty. 
  5. Gender Equality: This is a basic human right and the world has seen a lot of progress made over the years by allowing girls to receive an education, preventing forced marriage, and closing the gender pay gap. Although progress has been made, women still face discrimination in the world of work and are underrepresented in certain industries. 
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation: Unfortunately, there are still countries that do not have access to clean drinking water, particularly in rural areas. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of access to clean water and sanitation as a way of reducing the spread of the virus.
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy: The impact of climate change is highlighting the need to create clean energy to protect the environment. 
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: Establish a productive workforce that’s inclusive and sustainable to fuel economic growth. This will help to improve living standards through the creation of secure jobs. The rise in the cost of living and the impact of the pandemic is slowing down economic growth which is a cause for concern. 
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Through innovation it can aid economic growth and see the introduction of new technologies to help us in our everyday lives. 
  10. Reduced Inequalities: This goal looks at ensuring that everyone is treated equally all across the world and closing the gap between the rich and poor. 
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities: This focuses on reducing the number of petrol cars on the road and encouraging people to switch to using electric cars, walk, or take public transport. This will help to offset carbon emissions and make cities a safer place to live in.
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production: This looks at sustainable consumption, using natural resources in production, and taking action to limit food waste. 
  13. Climate Action: Climate change is a serious cause for concern and it’s more important than ever that we take action to limit its impact on the world for the next generation of children. 2019 was the second warmest year on record and carbon dioxide levels also reached a new record. 
  14. Life Below Water: This looks at protecting animals that live underwater as due to the impact of climate change, it is having a serious effect on the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity. 
  15. Life on Land: We need to prevent deforestation to promote sustainable ecosystems and ensure that animals continue to thrive in their natural habitats.
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: Work towards living in a harmonious world, without war and conflict. Conflict is one of the biggest threats to sustainable development.
  17. Partnerships: Countries across the world need to work together to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This can be achieved by sharing visions and values that everyone agrees with and through cooperation to help countries recover from the pandemic and other issues countries may be encountering. 

 

Businesses can use the 17 points on the Sustainable Development Goals plan to ensure they are treating all employees equally and that they’re doing their bit to make positive changes that will help the world. Following the points will show that you’re focused on corporate social responsibility, which can enhance brand image, improve reputation, and show your commitment to make a difference.

As a business owner you could focus on one of these goals allowing you to make a difference in a specific area, by incorporating it into your business strategy at every step.

 

For more information visit the UN website to see what is being done to meet the goals by 2030:

https://sdgs.un.org/goals

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

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