For Investors: What are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?
ver the last few decades, the United Nations and countries around the world have worked hand in hand to develop sustainable strategies aimed at tackling many of our world’s greatest challenges – health and education, inequality, climate change, pollution, poverty, and economic growth.
Fast forward to 2015 at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in NYC, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was born, outlining what we now know as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals or “SDGs.” At their core, the SDGs are a playbook through which we can align ourselves in an effort supportive to a sustainable future.
In total, there are 17 Goals with specific key targets and milestones to measure progress. For example, SDG #6 – the goal here is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
There are billions of people worldwide that do not have access to clean water and proper sanitation. While many of us wake up and brush our teeth with clean tap water, wash dishes with faucet water and give no thought to the sewage system every time we flush the toilet, this degree of ease is not the case everywhere. To address such a life critical challenge, this specific SDG is a call to action across the world to improve waste management, water usage, and sanitation. Of course, much of this improvement needs to happen at the government level with policy change. But, as our population continues to grow, the need for access to clean water and sanitation becomes more and more imperative.
The last SDG, #17, is about strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing global partnerships for sustainable development. Currently, worldwide challenges we face are just that – worldwide. We are not insulated from the challenges that underdeveloped or developing countries face. Here in the United State, there are communities that do not have proper access to clean water and sanitation either. This is a global issue that deserves global attention. This final SDG is simply about creating greater interconnected resources and partnerships to ensure our world collaboratively addresses the severity of what we face. This isn’t just a subject that might of interest to ESG investors or investor in general, but everyone that is concerned about doing right for the world and business.
For more information on the 17 SDGs, you can visit the United Nations SDGs site.