What are the SDGs?
In 2016, the United Nations (UN) launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a global call to end poverty, attain environmental sustainability, facilitate shared prosperity and promote peace and justice among peoples by 2030.
Photo source: un.org
Within the 17 SDGs, there are 204 targets outlined by the UN. It is quite a lot! But do not worry, we can simplify them by remembering the five main themes that the SDGs cover.
The first theme in the goals is to end poverty. SDGs 1,2,3,4 support the basic needs of man to uplift himself out of poverty. This includes addressing issues of food security, healthcare, and education.
Aligned with the goal of shared prosperity are SDGs 5,8,9,10 and 12.
The UN gives equal emphasis to caring for our common home. SDGs 6,7,11,13,14 and 15 are all focused on attaining environmental sustainability.
All of these must be anchored on good governance, ensuring everyone peace, justice and strong institutions which SDG 16 focuses on.
When we all do our share, we can create greater impact through partnership in achieving all the goals, which SDG 17 is about.
Businesses and the SDGs
While governments are responsible for reporting the country’s progress in achieving the 17 SDGs, everyone has a role to play, including the private sector. The SDGs can serve as a framework or guidance for businesses to see opportunities where they can contribute to a better and more sustainable society.
In an article, the President & CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Peter Bakker, and the CEO of Environmental Resources Management, Keryn James said that “By strategically integrating the SDGs into their business models, companies are better placed to build resilience, unlock new commercial opportunities and establish an enduring license to operate on the road to 2030 and beyond.”
SM and the SDGs
As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, SM remains dedicated to doing our share, especially by focusing on the 6 SDGs that are most material to us and where we can have the greatest impact.
Read more about it in SMIC’s Integrated Report 2020.
While the 17 SDGs seem overwhelming, everything is achievable through a genuine and deliberate decision to create a more sustainable world. The clock is ticking – let’s act now!