The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all; seventeen interlinked global goals that form the basis of a plan to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect the planet.
The collection of interlinked global goals were adopted by all 193 Member States of the United Nations in September 2015 as part of The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and clearly define the world we should all want. They recognise that ending poverty must be part of a strategy that improves health and education for all, reduces inequality, and stimulates economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
You can see all 17 of the SDG in the gallery below:
Let’s break those down to understand them fully:
1. No Poverty
Goal: To poverty in all its forms, everywhere.
2. Zero Hunger
Goal: to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
3. Good Health and Well-being
Goal: to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
4. Quality Education
Goal: to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
5. Gender Equality
Goal: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal: to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
Goal: to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
Goal: to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Goal: to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
10. Reducing Inequality
Goal: to reduce inequality both within and among countries.
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal: to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal: to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
13. Climate Action
Goal: to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
14. Life Below Water
Goal: to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
15. Life On Land
Goal: to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
Goal: to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
17. Partnerships for the Goals
Goal: to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.
The goals and their specific targets, which can be found here, aim to drive action among all 193 Member States of The UN between now and 2030 across these areas of crucial importance for humanity and the planet:
People; to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential with dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.
Planet; to protect the planet from degradation, taking urgent action on climate change, to ensure that it can support the needs of present and future generations.
Prosperity; to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.
Peace; to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
Partnership; to implement this agenda in the spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.
This last point is key, as the integrated and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that they are met; everyone must work together to achieve these goals to make sure that the lives of all people, of both existing and future generations will be profoundly improved, transforming the planet for the better.
Fulfilling these ambitions will take an unprecedented effort by all sections of society, with businesses playing a very important role in the process.
A new sustainable economy centred on the Sustainable Development Goals is estimated to be worth $12 trillion. Alongside this, research has shown that an increasing amount of shoppers are more likely to buy from brands and businesses that are committed to making a positive impact and are transparent in their approaches in doing so.
Which means that alongside the importance of helping those that live an unequal life today and saving the planet for generations to come, there is an immediate benefit in doing so for businesses. In fact, this is one of the reasons that we started the Better Business Network – to help businesses meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
It is of vital importance that the UN’s SDGs are met.
At betternotstop, our mission is to bring people together so we can create a better future for people and the planet. It’s why we’re so invested in the Sustainable Development Goals and why we want to help as many people as possible to contribute to hitting the targets and reaching these goals. You can read about how betternotstop are approaching each goal and what we’re doing to hit the targets set by the UN SDGs here.