The SDGs are a guide for humanity on Earth.
●Determination to “No one is left behind.” from a wide range of social issues
Don’t you hear the word SDGs everywhere these days? This is a concrete goal incorporated in the “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” which the United Nations led the world in adopting in 2015.
“SDGs” stands for “Sustainable Development Goals” and translates into “Sustainable Development Goals” in Japanese. It is a wide-ranging program, but it specifically addresses global issues such as poverty, hunger, energy, peace, and climate change that plague the world. Let’s take a look at these SDGs.
In fact, in 2001, the United Nations established a similar “Millennium Development Goals” (Millennium Development Goals). It is mainly aimed at solving problems such as poverty in developing countries, and efforts have been made by each country. Japan has also been providing assistance to developing countries, mainly in the form of ODA (Official Development Assistance).
However, the MDGs did not reach a fundamental solution to the problems of developing countries, and they left unresolved issues. Developing countries also felt a sense of incongruity about the leadership of developed countries. The SDGs were proposed based on the lessons learned from the MDGs.
The agenda above conveys a strong message that we will achieve “We don’t leave anyone behind.” and “By 2030,” from the goals set out in the SDGs.
The SDGs were characterized by discussions involving developing countries from the initial goal setting. Here is the lesson of the MDGs. For this reason, it covers a wide range of issues, including human rights, education, safe water and toilets, as well as development assistance such as public works. In other words, “I thought I was a goat.” is the goal of “What we want to be”. The SDGs have a total of 17 goals (I’ve summarized it at the end.).
For example, Goal 1 “Let’s eliminate poverty.” aims to halve the poverty rate and eradicate extreme poverty, which is defined as people living on less than $1.25 a day, by 2030. We can feel the seriousness of the situation by defining each goal more specifically.
On the other hand, the seventh objective is to provide sustainable energy, and to strengthen international cooperation with the aim of increasing the share of renewable energy and expanding research and development and utilization of clean energy, it calls for the search for global solutions.
●Is SDGs an Evolution of CSR?
At present, large corporations are accelerating their efforts to link SDGs with corporate activities. The concept is that selling products and providing services not only benefit the company, but also lead to the achievement of the global goals set out in the SDGs, which in turn increase the value of the company itself. This is driven by a shift in consumer attitudes, such as buying the same product from a company that takes the environment, energy, and people in need seriously. In this way, we call corporate activities directly linked to solving social issues CSV (Creating Shared Value, Creating Shared Value).
Since the 1990s, the term (CSR) has become popular and various social contribution activities have been conducted. However, SDGs are fundamentally different from CSR. Most of the CSR activities were not linked to their core businesses, such as planting trees with a portion of the profits earned from their core businesses. However, in CSV, for example, fast food chains replace plastic straws with plant stalks that can be harvested in a developing country. In this way, the procurement of materials, which is their main commercial activity, creates new jobs in developing countries, reduces plastic waste in consuming regions, and prevents marine pollution. As these efforts are appreciated, the value of the company increases, and customers become more aware of the company and choose. That’s the story. The SDGs gave these companies a very easy theme for CSV management.
The SDGs can be described as a “request for cooperation” from the United Nations to companies with financial and human resources, global networks, and resources. In contrast, by having a “Awareness of evaluating and supporting corporate activities” we can be directly involved in the SDGs.
Each of the 17 goals of the SDGs is not a separate issue, but rather a complex mix of global, social, and economic goals. It is important to recognize that we are in an era in which companies and consumers must think about what they should do in order to build a sustainable society.
[2030 international targets for 17 compiled into SDGs]
Goal 1: Eliminate poverty
Goal 2: Zero hunger
Goal 3 Health and welfare for all
Goal 4: Providing quality education to all
Goal 5: Realize gender equality
Goal 6 Safe water and toilets around the world
Goal 7: Make energy clean for everyone
Goal 8 Job satisfaction and economic growth
Goal 9 Create foundations for industry and technological innovation
Goal 9 Create foundations for industry and technological innovationAim for 10 people and eliminate national inequality
Goal 11: Creating livable communitiesResponsibility to create and use Goal 12
Goal 13: Concrete measures for climate change
Goal 14: Preserve the richness of the sea
Goal 15: Preserve the richness of the land
Goal 16 Peace and Justice for All
Goal 17 Achieve goals with partnerships