What are the UN SDGs?

by | Feb 22, 2022 | Purpose

The UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and to ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. A full list of the SDG’s can be found at the end of this article along with a brief description. 

Why should business leaders be familiar with the UN SDGs?

The UN SDGs focus on every sustainable goal that organisations are becoming more focused on to instigate positive impact. At Shape Tomorrow we believe in doing one thing well rather than 5 things poorly. The same approach can be adopted when a business reviews the SDG’s. The SDG’s are vast, some areas won’t be as relevant as others to your sector, and some topics may not resonate as strongly with your employees as others. We recommend as a process of elimination choosing up to 3 SDGS, depending on your journey to date and company size, that align to your purpose. 

Once your SDGs are agreed its important that you demonstrate your commitment and are authentic. To help map out your ‘baseline’ initiatives, develop a training programme and create a future facing plan contact the Shape Tomorrow team.

The 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)

1. No Poverty – End poverty in all its forms, everywhere.

2. Zero Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

3. Good Health and Wellbeing – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.

4. Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

5. Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

6. Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

7. Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. 

10. Reduced Inequalities – Reduce inequality within and among countries.

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

12. Responsible Consumption and Production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

13. Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

14. Life Below Water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

15. Life of Land – Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, manage forests, combat desertification and biodiversity loss, and halt and reverse land degradation. 

16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.

17. Partnerships – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development.