How can you apply SDGs within your business?

Where is your business now?

It is good to reflect on the current situation within your company. How far have you already gone in terms of sustainability? Where are the opportunities to improve? Take a look at our tips & tricks.

On which SDG(s) do you want to focus your business operations?

You will probably not be able to contribute to all 17 development goals at the same time. That is why it is smart to make a selection and think about the development goals you have in mind for your business. The SDGs are briefly explained below:

1. Eradicating poverty: for example, by providing equal rights and resources to the weak or poor such as land rights, technologies and financial services.

2. No hunger anywhere: ensure food security and sustainable agriculture. These include supporting small-scale food producers such as indigenous people, family farmers and fishermen, or implementing agricultural techniques with increased productivity that help maintain ecosystems.

3. Good health and welfare: such as reducing maternal mortality, under-five child mortality, traffic incidents, addictive substances, diseases caused by hazardous chemicals, air or water pollution, epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases. Encourage affordable health care for all, access to sex education and the development of vaccinations and medication for diseases affecting developing countries.

4. Quality education: inclusive, equal and free primary and secondary education and accessible and quality tertiary education for all, including universities. Strive, for example, to reduce gender inequalities in education or provide vocational training for the vulnerable and disabled.

5. Gender equality: think of women- and girls empowerment, reducing (sexual) violence, eliminating forced marriages and genital mutilation and providing equal rights in the economic and legal sphere.

6. Clean water and clean sanitation: such as supporting universal and equal access to safe drinking water, making clean sanitation accessible, reducing water pollution and protecting water-related ecosystems such as rivers, mountains, lakes and forests.

7. Affordable and sustainable energy: that is reliable, accessible and efficiently generated.

8. Decent work and economic growth: improve employment, diversity, inclusiveness, security, technological innovation and resource efficiency.

9. Sustainable industry, innovation and infrastructure: for example, by supporting research that contributes to industrial innovation and by increasing access for small-scale industries in developing countries to financial resources, information, communication technologies and value chains.

10. Reducing inequality: such as ensuring a gradual income growth for the bottom 40% of the population, promoting social, economic and political inclusiveness for all and facilitating responsible, regular and safe migration.

11. Sustainable cities and communities: among other things, promoting adequate, affordable and safe housing and transport, protecting cultural and natural heritage, making green and public spaces accessible and reducing the negative impact of cities on the environment.

12. Sustainable consumption and production: efficient use of raw materials, recycling, creating awareness of sustainable developments, reducing food waste and waste in the air, water and soil.

13. Addressing climate change: think of countering climate-related threats, improving education about climate change and stimulating effective climate-related management in developing countries.

14. Protecting marine life: for example, preventing and reducing all types of marine pollution, taking action for the restoration and protection of oceans and combating overfishing.

15. Protecting land-based life: such as ensuring the restoration and sustainable use of freshwater ecosystems, forests, land, mountains and taking action against the loss of biodiversity and the extinction of species.

16. Promoting security, public services and justice for all: reduce all forms of violence, promote access to legal services, develop effective and transparent institutions, ensure inclusive and participatory decision-making and combat all forms of discrimination.

17. Strengthening the global partnership to achieve goals: such as supporting resources, providing funding and promoting exports in developing countries.

Make a short-, medium- and long-term plan

Each SDG is divided into a number of sub-goals. Make a strategic planning of the contribution you and your company want to and can make to this and set several intermediate goals. What are you going to change in concrete terms and when? What resources can you make available for this? With whom are you going to cooperate?

Communicate your set and achieved goals

In order to track the progress of your goals, you can work with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are the measurable components that can collectively demonstrate the extent to which a set goal has been achieved. Think for example of the financial resources that have been used for a goal, the number of people that have been helped, percentages of a goal achieved between different groups, etc. (At The Good Roll, we talk about the number of toilets built, lives improved and trees saved, among other things). Then let people know that your company contributes to the SDGs on its website, social media, in promotional materials or annual reports and communicate developments with KPIs. In addition, do not forget to register with SDG Netherlands!

Stay informed and register here.

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