The SDGs, or Global Goals, were adopted in 2015 by all 193 UN Member States as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. There are 17 SDGs, and they are integrated by nature — that is, action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must strike a balance between social, economic and environmental sustainability. The 17 SDGs have 169 subtargets for 2030. Achieving the SDGs requires a partnership between governments, the private sector, civil society and citizens alike to ensure we leave a better planet for future generations. We believe the SDGs provide a positive framework and an integrated approach to address systemic challenges and to become more resilient.
The SDGs have been embraced by most companies. Unfortunately, despite a lot of effort, we are not on track to deliver the SDGs in 2030. There is still too much poverty, a deep gender gap, rising global temperatures, and endless amounts of plastics in our oceans. One of the solutions to these challenges is for companies to raise their ambition and make the SDGs part of their core business. Ingrid Thijssen, who recently became the new president of VNO-NCW, puts it like this: ‘Business will only flourish in a society that is doing well’. In their 2030 vision ‘Doing Business to Create Broad Welfare’ VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland describe their new course. In addition to economic growth, they want to prioritize the creation of an inclusive society – with work and equal opportunities for all – and a sustainable living environment.
THE SGDS ARE VITAL FOR BUSINESS: ‘More specifically, they will bring (WBCSD, 2018; Van Tulder, 2018):