Only 15% of SDGs targets are on track. Here is what we can do as businesses.
The year 2023 marks the halfway point in the ambitious journey toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. These 17 interconnected goals, ranging from eradicating poverty and hunger to promoting sustainable consumption and production, were adopted by world leaders in 2015 as a blueprint for a better, more sustainable future by 2030.
As we take stock of the progress made so far, the SDG Summit, held this week in New York City, serves as a vital platform for assessing achievements, identifying challenges, and mobilizing collective action. The 2023 SDG Summit is particularly significant as it not only reflects on past efforts but also looks ahead, inspiring renewed commitment to realizing the SDGs.
Why Is the SDG Summit Important?
1. Midpoint Assessment: 2023 is the midpoint in the 15-year SDG timeline. It's a moment to evaluate where we stand, what's working, and what needs acceleration.
2. Urgent Action Required: Despite significant strides, only 15 percent of the SDG targets are on track. There's an urgent need for collaborative action.
3. Global Coordination: The SDG Summit brings together governments, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders to exchange ideas and commitments. Global collaboration is essential for success.
4. Accountability: The Summit provides a platform for governments to report on their progress and for stakeholders to hold them accountable.
Businesses at the Heart of SDGs
Businesses, both large and small, are pivotal players in the pursuit of the SDGs. They have the capacity to innovate, invest, and influence at scale. Here's how companies can actively contribute:
1. Align Your Mission: Integrate the SDGs into your corporate strategy. Identify the goals that resonate with your mission and align with your business operations.
2. Measure and Report: Implement robust tracking and reporting mechanisms to measure your sustainability efforts. Transparency is key to accountability.
3. Responsible Sourcing: Partner with sustainable suppliers. Procure products with verified certifications, contributing to SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). This is where TEORRA can help.
4. Community Engagement: Support local communities through initiatives aligned with the SDGs. Collaborate with NGOs and nonprofit organizations to drive meaningful change on the ground.
5. Foster Innovation: Encourage innovation within your industry to develop sustainable solutions. Invest in research and development that aligns with the SDGs.
6. Advocate for Change: Raise awareness about the SDGs among your employees, customers, and peers. Engage in advocacy efforts to promote global action.
7. Embrace Circular Practices: Transition toward a circular economy by reducing waste and promoting recycling. Embrace sustainable production processes.
8. Offer Sustainable Products: Develop and offer eco-friendly products that align with the SDGs. This not only appeals to conscious consumers but also furthers the global agenda.
9. Collaborate and Network: Join industry networks, alliances, and partnerships focused on achieving the SDGs. Collaborative efforts amplify impact.
“Today, only 15 per cent of the targets are on track, with many going into reverse,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
The 2023 SDG Summit serves as a stark reminder that we have a long way to go in achieving the ambitious targets set out by the United Nations. However, it's also an opportunity to renew our commitment, harness collective power, and make the necessary changes. Businesses, in particular, hold immense potential to lead the charge. By aligning missions with the SDGs, measuring impact, embracing innovation, and collaborating globally, companies can play a pivotal role in realizing a more sustainable and equitable world by 2030.
As we reflect on the halfway point of this transformative journey, let's remember that the SDGs are not just a United Nations initiative; they are a shared vision for a brighter future, and it's up to each one of us, including businesses, to turn this vision into reality.
In the end, achieving the SDGs is not just a global goal; it's a collective responsibility.