What’s Global Sustainable Development?
Global Sustainable Development is a contested notion with many different meanings. Regardless of the diversity of definitions that the term has generated, everybody involved in addressing the effects of development, the chances for a sustainable lifestyle, and the complex moral and ethical debates around globalization agrees that we’ve reached a stage where business as usual is no longer an alternative.
The most commonly cited definition of Sustainable Development is from the Brundtland Report: “Sustainable development is a development that meets the requirements of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own requirements” (United Nations Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, 1987).
The Sustainable Development Aims
With the world’s population expected to grow from six to nearly ten billion between the years 2000 to 2050, the next few decades are set to see significant transformations in economic development, international relations, human growth, biodiversity, human health, and social justice. With these transformations in your mind, in 2015, the UN summarized the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), designed to enable governments, companies, and individuals to work together towards a bright future for all.
The SDGs strike a balance between the critical, theoretical questions of why inequality exists while requiring an unequivocal international response through practice and policy. As an instance, we might consider why UNESCO forecasts that 1.8 billion people are expected to reside with absolute water scarcity by 2025? What economic, social, and ecological currents have given rise to this crisis? And what practical steps could be taken to resolve it?
Each SDG has a measurable goal, designed to rebalance a certain Global inequality, but all of them are closely linked to one another. The change towards clean and affordable energy (SDG 7), as an instance, can’t be achieved without considering the impact on the industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9).
The movement for a more prosperous, equal, and sustainable future. To secure “a new trajectory of sustainable growth,” we need motivated leaders in all sectors of society around the globe.
From working in a small regional conservation charity to issuing policy information for an international engineering company, acquiring a dedicated understanding of sustainable development issues has never been more valuable.
The COVID-19 Crisis May and Must be a Turning Point in History
The pandemic has highlighted fragility, systemic failings, and inequalities that define today’s world. However, it has also provided us an unparalleled opportunity to reimagine our future. What we need today is a transformative change in thinking and action. We require everybody to push for The Global Goals for Sustainable Development to be attained. The strategy that all states signed up to in the United Nations 5 years back.
In September, world leaders met virtually for the UN General Assembly and indicated that 5th anniversary. Let us keep up the pressure so that they turn things around. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to reimagine and make a better future.
The 17 sustainable development objectives (SDGs) to transform our planet:
1: No Poverty
2: Zero Hunger
3: Good Health and Well-being
4: Quality Education
5: Reduced Inequality
6: Clean Water and Sanitation
7: Clean and Affordable Energy
8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
9: Business, Innovation, and Infrastructure
10: Gender Equality
11: Climate Action
12: Responsible Consumption and Production
13: Sustainable Cities and Communities
14: Life Below Water
15: Life on Land
16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
17: Partnerships to reach the Aim
Measuring Development Towards The Sustainable Development Objectives
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target international growth adopted in September 2015, set to be achieved by 2030. All countries have agreed to work towards achieving these aims.
The SDG tracker presents information across all available indicators from Our World in Data database, using official data from the UN and other international organizations. It’s a free, open-access publication that monitors global progress towards the SDGs and allows people worldwide to hold their governments responsible for achieving the agreed goals.
The 17 Sustainable Development Aims is defined in a list of 169 SDG Targets. Growth towards these Targets is agreed to be monitored by 232 unique Indicators. Here’s the complete list of definitions.
This new version of our SDG-Tracker premiered on 28th June 2018. We will keep this up-to-date with the latest data and SDG improvements through the end of the 2030 Agenda.
For many indicators, information is available, but essential data gaps remain. If you’re conscious of the high-quality data we have to include, please notify us. We expect that this collaborative approach allows us to support the United Nations in creating the most up-to-date and complete resources for tracking global progress to 2030.
The SDGs Described for Business
However big or small, and regardless of the industry, all companies can contribute to the SDGs. While the international goals’ scale and scope are unprecedented, the primary ways that business can contribute to staying unchanged. The UN Global Compact urges corporations to do business responsibly and then seek opportunities to address social challenges through business innovation and cooperation.
Global challenges — ranging from climate, food, and water crises, to poverty, conflict, and inequality — need options that the private sector can contribute, representing a large and growing market for business innovation. In a rush to change business models and systems in the long run, integrity and values will play a massive role.
For companies wanting to progress the SDG agenda, the job begins by behaving sensibly — integrating the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact broadly into operations and strategies, and understanding that good practices or innovation in one area can’t compensate for doing harm in another.
Here are things you can do to support:
Join Business for Peace
Conflict and instability affect people and the environment and pose risks to all areas of the company sector. Business for Peace is a platform of near 150 leading companies and business associations from 37 nations dedicated to catalyzing collaborative actions to advance peace.
Implement the Value Driver Model
The market and financial performance of any company is the product of a complex array of variables. To fully incorporate sustainability into financial markets, companies will need to integrate ecological, social, and governance (ESG) information into all communication with investors.
Share How Your Company Is Progressing The SDGs
To convert the interest stimulated by the SDGs into strategic business activities, the UN Global Compact and KPMG International partnered on the SDG Industry Matrix project to showcase short industry-specific examples and ideas for corporate actions associated with each SDG. Presented in a series of books, each matrix highlights bold pursuits and conclusions made by diverse organizations for each SDG. These SDG Industry Matrices are meant to inspire the greater business pursuit of possibilities that create value for society, as well as for investors.
Private Sustainability Investments
Investors and companies are increasingly working together to tackle significant global challenges. Adopting social, environmental, and governance (ESG) factors in private pensions are evolving from a risk management practice to a driver of new opportunities and innovation that produce long-term worth for society, and promoting ESG adoption throughout the investment value chain can promote greater private investment in sustainable growth, leading to greater impact.
Global Compact 100
The Global Compact 100 is a stock index made of a representative group of UN Global Compact companies, chosen based on implementing the Ten Principles and evidence of executive leadership commitment and consistent base-line profitability.
Produced by Sustainalytics, the Global Compact 100 does not look at sustainability performance in isolation of basic financial wellbeing. Instead, it marries corporate performance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues with a necessity of constant base-line profitability.
Adopt the Children’s Rights and Business Basics
Kids are key stakeholders of your business but are often overlooked. We welcome you to embrace the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, which provide a business framework to honor and encourage children’s rights.
Engage With Future Business Leaders
Business and management schools play a vital role in shaping future business leaders’ skills and mindsets and can be potent corporate sustainability drivers.
Commit to responsible climate adaptation increasing incidences of drought, flood, snowmelt, and climate-related ailments negatively affect business and society. Failure to adapt to these conditions will have severe long-term consequences for companies’ stability and sustainability. And investors are finally starting to take notice with estimates putting trillions of dollars in manageable assets at risk because of climate change.
Join the Zero Hunger Challenge
The Zero Hunger Challenge was started to induce commitment and action by all stakeholders, including businesses, to end malnutrition in all its forms and realize inclusive, sustainable, and resilient food systems.
The Zero Hunger vision comprises five components that, taken collectively, can end hunger, eliminate all forms of malnutrition, and build sustainable and inclusive food systems.
Share Best Practices on the Child Labour Platform
Eliminating child labor can be challenging, particularly in the supply chain. Because of this, the International Labour Organization and the UN Global Compact offer resources to assist you.
Sign the Human Rights Open Letter
The requirement for business and human rights education is growing internationally. Academic organizations are well-positioned to prepare future business leaders to control the human rights impacts of the companies.
The UN Global Compact, in collaboration with the Principles for Responsible Management Instruction (PRME), invites organizations to sign the open letter calling on academic institutions to incorporate business and human rights issues in their curriculum.
Support Sustainable Soil Management
Soil is among the most underestimated mediums on the planet. Soil filters our water, provide the basis for our houses and factories, clothes us, feeds us, and provides us energy for biofuels. Soil also helps us combat environmental risks by naturally separating carbon and building resilience to climate-based crises. Soil isn’t an isolated element, and lots of issues impact soil health both directly and indirectly.
Soil management problems are best addressed through powerful public-private collaboration and partnerships. Business is a crucial partner in designing and delivering powerful, scalable, and functional solutions to protect and restore lands, preserve soil-based ecosystem services, and improve soil productivity.
Anti-Corruption Call to Action
The Call to Action was set forth as an appeal by the private sector to Governments to promote anti-corruption steps and implement policies that will establish good governance systems. The Call to Action forced Governments to emphasize anti-corruption and decent governance as fundamental pillars of a sustainable and inclusive global market and include them as essential tenets of their now-adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Call to Action was started in 2014 and continued its advocacy efforts before adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. More than 250 companies and investors worldwide have signed on to the Anti-Corruption Call to Action.
Global Compact Board Programme
Directors are uniquely positioned to ensure sustainability is wholly inserted into business practices and strategies to encourage the corporation’s long-term sustainability and viability.
The Global Compact Board Programme is the first of its type to align and support Boards of Directors to effectively manage and drive a strategic approach to corporate sustainability and respond to all key stakeholders’ interests while protecting and creating financial value.
Join the CEO Water Mandate
As a UN Global Compact participant, you know the critical need to ensure sanitation and water access worldwide. To support your business foster better water stewardship practices, we encourage you to join the CEO Water Mandate.
The CEO Water Mandate can help you develop, implement, and disclose your water sustainability policies and practices. It will enable your organization to share emerging and best practices and advance multi-stakeholder partnerships to deal with water challenges found in river basins worldwide.
Putting a cost on carbon can promote low-carbon growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More and more, business leaders are standing up in support of an expense on carbon. Nearly 40 national and 20 sub-national authorities are already engaging or preparing for a carbon price. The UN Global Compact calls on companies to set an internal cost at a minimum of $100 per metric ton with time.
Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Action
The number of internally displaced people and refugees is at its highest since the Second World War. The resources and structure of the humanitarian system are insufficient to meet the needs of people fleeing conflict. Recognizing that the primary responsibility for peace rests with Governments, the size and urgency of the present emergency require assistance from all actors in society — including business.
The international refugee crisis unfolding across the Middle East, Europe, and Africa challenges the world and presents a significant opportunity for companies to be a force for good. All parts of the refugee crisis are better handled when different stakeholders come for people-driven, values-based programs where public policies are met by responsible business operations, new business models, investment, innovation, and technology.
There are more initiatives that a company can get involved in, and these are just suggestions or a beginning point. Let us put 2020 behind us and make 2021 a better year!