THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS – OVERVIEW
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of global goals that the United Nations and the international community must achieve to end extreme poverty around the world until 2030. SDGs were adopted in September 2015 as a post-MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) agenda which had provided an important development framework from 2000 to 2015. SDGs consist of 17 goals and 169 targets prioritizing “people-centered” values, covering the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. UN Global Compact calls on businesses around the world to promote sustainable development through business operations, investment and solution creation. By aligning their business strategy and activities with the SDGs, businesses can contribute to the achievement of the Global Goals.
The SDGs apply to all countries at all stages of development, including Tanzania.
MAKING GLOBAL GOALS LOCAL BUSINESS
The UN Global Compact’s multi-year strategy to drive business awareness and action in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The UGCNT has been able to develop this hub through the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
SDGS EXPLAINED FOR BUSINESS
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (sometimes referred to as the Global Goals) are a set of 17 universal goals applicable to all countries at all stages of development. They lay out a path to 2030 to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect the planet, and provide a framework for global and local sustainable development efforts.
The SDGs are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) – the globally agreed, long-term roadmap for development – which comprises the SDGs as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.
While the scale and scope of the SDGs is unprecedented, the fundamental ways that business can contribute remain unchanged. In particular, the UN Global Compact asks companies to first do business responsibly and then pursue opportunities to solve societal challenges through business innovation and collaboration.
In the rush to transform business models and systems for the future, integrity and values will have a huge role to play. For companies wanting to advance the SDG agenda, the job starts by acting responsibly incorporating the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles widely into strategies and operations, and understanding that good practices or innovation in one area cannot make up for doing harm in another.
There is a strong business case for understanding and engaging with the SDGs. Key elements of the business case include (drawn from the SDG Compass):-
- Identifying future business opportunities.
- Enhancing the value of corporate sustainability.
- Strengthening stakeholder relations and keeping pace with policy developments.
- Stabilising societies and markets.
- Using a common language and shared purpose.
Further, the SDGs cover a broad range of issues relevant to companies from poverty and inequality, to climate change and engaging with the SDG agenda can help companies understand and link their strategies with global priorities.
A key tool to help you get started is the SDG Compass. You can also join the Global Compact Network Australia to access activities, resources and support. In Australia, the UNGCNT’s Sustainable Development Leadership Group is actively assisting Tanzania businesses and other stakeholders to realise the potential of private sector contributions to the SDGs.