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Showing posts with label 17 goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 17 goals. Show all posts

Monday, September 05, 2016

Align your Business with the SDGs

Is Your Business Aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals?

By Clinton Moloney and Don Reed, Triple Pundit Correspondents

2015 was a pivotal year in turning the tide on major sustainability issues. One of the key drivers of this shift was the release of the United Nations’ (U.N.) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last fall, aimed to propel the business community and the whole world to align their corporate strategies to help make real progress on social, economic and environmental issues for years to come.

The 17 SDGs make up a cohesive environmental and social sustainability vision that serves as a call-to-action for governments, civil society, and businesses to rethink their core strategies, missions and values and contribute to these goals in an overall effort to have positive, lasting contributions to our quality of life and our planet.

Everyone within a civil society agrees with the 17 basic goals.

The SDGs will function as a vehicle that will allow businesses to find the intersection between where they can contribute to society and their core business values and purpose. And at a fundamental level, a business that is operating in a way that is aligned to solving major societal challenges will be more resilient over the long term. Companies are usually clear on the positive impacts they’re already having on society. The SDGs offer a new lens to look at and communicate the social issues they currently have the most bearing on, and where they may fall short.

Global expectations are already high for the SDGs, but what about the perception among U.S. businesses? For one, there’s a high awareness level among U.S. corporations – recent PwC research found that more than 90 percent of businesses are familiar with the SDGs. Moreover, companies are already considering their own impact on the SDGs with some 40 percent planning to conduct an annual review to assess that impact.

Businesses have a real opportunity to turn the complexity of the global goals as part of their overall corporate strategy. But what are the best practices and processes for supporting the SDGs and kicking off the process of embedding them into their fundamental business framework?

We’ve identified four key steps companies need to take to commence successful engagement with the SDGs:
Determine the impact your business and its value chain have on each of the SDGs, both directly and indirectly. Governments may have different priorities for the SDGs, so for global companies, it’s critical to understand in detail each country’s priorities where business operates.

Agree on the methodology and measure your business impact across all these SDGs. Data and analytics can help you understand where your business has a positive or negative impact on each SDG. There are tools available that can help provide total impact measurement.

Incorporate the learnings from your measurement into business planning and strategy to prioritize reducing negative impacts and increasing the positive. This will lead to the ability to prove your role in the SDGs.
Communicate your business goals and achievements consistently with the SDGs. Outside of sustainability reports, these impacts should be integrated into overall company communications such as annual reports, SEC filings and customer communications.

Many companies are looking to adopt the goals that are the most relevant to their businesses and where they can contribute the most to society, as well as areas where they are able to engage their stakeholders. For example, a pharmaceutical company may concentrate on good health and well-being (goal No. 3), while a major consumer brand that targets female retailers may start with its impact on women and equality (No. 5).

Aligning specific SDGs to business growth strategy works well as long as companies understand where they have impacts across all the goals – positive or negative – and can gain a complete perspective of their sustainability opportunities. And after corporations get a handle on communicating the issues where they already have known business value and positive impact in SDG terms, they can move on to uncover new opportunities to have an impact in other areas.

Making a smooth transition to this new model where SDGs play a central role in operational considerations as well as planning, reporting and strategy could make all the difference in helping to achieve the SDGs.

Image credit: United Nations

Clinton Moloney is PwC’s U.S. Sustainable Business Solutions Advisory Leader
Don Reed is a Managing Director in PwC’s U.S. Sustainable Business Solutions Practice

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fixing our Broken World

How to Fix Our Broken World—in 17 Bullet Points

By Mother Jones author Tim McDonnell Fri Sep. 25, 2015 6:10 AM EDT

Here's why you should care about the United Nations' newest heap of jargon.

Bangladesh is already being dramatically affected by climate change.  
As the United Nations convenes in New York this week for its 70th General Assembly, one of the most prominent items on the schedule is to formally sign off on its brand-new Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs, which have been in the works for a few years, are basically a to-do list for all the world's governments from now until 2030. They're also a seemingly impenetrable pile of diplo-jargon.

"If you were to pick up the document, your first reaction could be that it's a lot of 'blah blah blah,'" said Peter Hazlewood, director of development at the World Resources Institute.

Still, the SDGs could have a significant impact on the allocation of resources to fight climate change and other environmental issues over the next decade. Here's what you need to know.

Replacing the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs are a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals, enacted in 2000. There were eight specific MDGs, all targeted at different aspects of extreme poverty: Reduce the child mortality rate by two-thirds, vastly expand access to clean drinking water, turn the tide against HIV/AIDS, etc. Of course, the goals aren't legally binding. Instead, the point was to give developed-country governments and international financial institutions such as the World Bank a target to shoot at when they make decisions about how to spend aid dollars or invest in certain projects. It's a way of saying: "We agree that these are the world's top priorities right now."

The "we" in that sentence was pretty controversial, since—according to lore, at least—the goals were drawn up behind closed doors in the UN basement by a group of elite diplomats. For that reason, it took years for a critical mass of governments to actually rally behind the MDGs and start to implement them. And even then, the they were sometimes criticized for being too narrow and not sufficiently focused on the root causes of poverty.
"Goals such as 'End poverty in all its forms everywhere,' may seem so broad that they will be easy to ignore," Michael Specter wrote.
As of the end of this year, the MDGs will have reached their expiration date. How well did we do on meeting them? So-so. Global poverty and childhood mortality have been greatly reduced; for example, between 1990 and 2015 the portion of people in developing countries living on less than $1.25 per day fell from 50 percent to 14 percent. Still, obviously, global poverty has not been eradicated. The UN's own recent assessment found many goals were un-met, especially with respect to gender equality and conflict refugee issues.

And even in the best scenario, it's far from clear how much impact the MDGs actually had on any of the issues they sought to address. During the same time period, for example, China was developing rapidly and opening up to international trade, which had a huge impact on lifting its citizens out of poverty—quite separately from anything the UN was doing. But it's safe to say that the MDGs loomed over budget conversations at agencies like USAID, and in that way had a tangible impact on how the US and other rich governments spent money on aid.

The MDGs "were far from perfect, and you cannot attribute all progress to them," Hazlewood said. "But you can make a strong case that they had a galvanizing effect."

So what are the Sustainable Development Goals? This time around, while still including poverty, the focus has swung much more toward environmental issues, including climate change adaptation. Here are the 17 goals:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. 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. 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. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

If that seems like a lot, well, it is. While the MDGs were too narrow, the SDGs could very well be too broad. As Michael Specter pointed out in the New Yorker, "goals such as 'End poverty in all its forms everywhere,' may seem so broad that they will be easy to ignore." UK Prime Minister David Cameron said as much last year, warning that with so many goals, "there's a real danger they will end up sitting on a bookshelf, gathering dust." Even just reading the list seems overwhelming; imagine being a head of state trying to implement it in your sprawling national bureaucracy.

And they're not cheap: By some estimates, they could cost more than $7 trillion a year to implement, and there's still no clear consensus on where exactly that money will come from. It would likely be a mix of private-sector investment; aid from the UN and developed countries; and increased spending by developing countries.


Chart by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

At the same time, the goals' breadth could be a strength, as less affluent countries become more involved in implementing them—as opposed to only being on the receiving end of aid dollars. They could provide an impetus for developing countries to get more serious about things under their control, like empowering women, or conserving natural resources, or making urban planning decisions with an eye toward climate impacts. At the very least, the goals provide ammunition for diplomatic peer-pressure: No country wants to look lackadaisical compared to the one next door, or act in direct contravention of the goals, lest they scare off donors or investors. And it could be a way for US agencies to justify increased spending on climate adaptation.

"These are universal goals," Hazlewood said. "It's not just about what the US should be doing with countries in Africa; it's about what every country in the world needs to do."

What's next? Of course, the UN can't compel any country to do any of these things. So the goals won't matter unless individual national governments take them seriously. Unlike the old MDGs, the SDGs were developed over several years with maximum transparency, involving a huge, diverse cast of governments, NGOs, and private companies. The rationale for that strategy was to increase everyone's stake in the goals, so that when they come into effect, countries will swiftly incorporate them into national policy decisions—in other words, take them off the page and into practice. We'll have to wait and see if that will really happen.

"With the MDGs it took years to get any kind of traction and for countries to take them seriously," Hazlewood said. "But this time we can get the process off to a better start."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mother Earth's New World Order (People's Utopia)

If you have not heard the untold and unspoken of news of the world; let me share some perspective as the author of Globcal International, a cooperative international non-governmental organization (CiNGO). Feel free to re-publish and share this news commentary, and learn more about this topic today by reviewing the links at the end of the article. Be informed!

A New Sustainable Earth managed by Global Citizens

Beginning today when the UN General Assembly convenes we begin launching a program involving global citizenship and personal individual autonomy as a verified and credentialed member of the new emerging global system. Global citizenship will be the new ideal of personhood and identity that erases the political lines of discrimination based on heritage, race or national bias; they will be the first people to be defined by their individual good character, active participation in civil society, and their personal expertise applied in their lives, their success as change advocates will be relative to the experience and skills that any global citizen can contribute to the greater civilization.
Setting the mood for the new global world.

This is our big chance to make a difference and become equal which will enable collective and cooperative realities where everyone benefits and prospers.

Big Events and Change have been Announced

In one more week, 193+ national representative leaders, thousands of cities, iNGOs, and over 30 United Nations Specialized Organizations will make a pact with the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and its 7.3 billion people when they gather to ratify extreme measures to recover the planet, stop global warming, and develop international cooperation. The SDG agreement has 17 basic goals, also it been endorsed by the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama and the Pope. Evo Morales will be there too with the Plurinational State of Bolivia's Law to the Rights of Mother Earth enacted in 2010.

Indigenous and aboriginal peoples from around the world recently expressed their interest and involvement directly through tribal leaders and through organizations such as our own to facilitate their global participation in the world's redevelopment and affirm their roles as global citizens. 

A worldwide ecological agenda may seem like nonsense to many who are embroiled in local issues and state politics that have no concept of the world (condition of the planet) any further than they can see or concentrate upon. The world began to think collectively and more globally in the mid-nineties with the inception of the Internet and its broader public use releasing people from the enclaves of politics and their wholly operated media companies. 

Understanding the world from a local perspective is relative and essential to realizing the needs of a particular constituency, which has been a good thing especially for those who are lucky enough to have qualified local representatives (politicians) that appeal to their needs (few of us do, they are all corrupted by corporations and other business); the only great change is in perception and being responsible for the impact of local and individual activity relative to the global scheme of things. Corruption will be difficult or impossible once the new system is in place.

A Global Ecosystem

It is hard for some people to understand that the people of New York, Mexico City, Beijing, Moscow and London are all dependent on natural global ecosystems beyond their jurisdiction and physical reach as a state or as a population. Their responsibility as consumers of air directly implicates them as users of the oxygen molecules being produced by the Amazon and Congo.

In the new emerging ecosystem based civilization, locality will be the operational platform for our general individual existence as sustainable global citizens. It will be where we have the opportunity to participate in moving forward the sustainable development goals and become an integral element of the ecosystem.

Considering decentralized organization and mobilization of the United Nations Regional Commissions and Specialized Divisions, their locations around the world combined with the integral and interactive existing infrastructures of 193 political states and thousands of non-governmental organizations in agreement with making the change for the betterment of the planet and its inhabitants.

An International Rule of Law

Creating Utopia from the United Nations "Rule of Law" UNROL is simply agreeing to the same principle rights we have established for ourselves under the United Nations already like the historical Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the most recent Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, these global agreements combined together give us the Bill of Human Rights and the standard for international law. Other major agreements that are being implemented to create a utopian world include the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Sustainable Development which was originally ratified by 178 nations.

Rightfully so is the Pachamama, the changes will dominate our lives much like the indigenous peoples have understood for thousands of years that the most sacred of everything is the earth itself, as the earth's first inhabitants they are also the first global citizens before the existence of countries and states. People will have little option except to yield to mother earth and seek forgiveness for the damage already caused by humanity and unsustainable industrialization.

Read more about the people's new world order, get involved now with the SDGs, stake your claim, define your career participation, learn more, about the emerging ecosystem based planet. It is possible to brace and prepare yourself for the changes ahead. It is my personal opinion that it is best to realize what is going before it happens instead of becoming a victim of the circumstances of change later.

Links and other information about change!

Globcal International (Watch for News Releases) Global Citizen Goodwill Ambassadors
Agenda 21 revised (17 SDGs Agreed Upon on the 23rd Anniversary of the Earth Summit)
Law of the Rights of Mother Earth
Global Citizenship (Encyclopedia)
Pope's Encyclical "Laudato Si"


Incase you did not know the 21st General Assembly of the UNWTO (World Travel Organization) convened on the 12th of September in Colombia. Great new bold decisions being made this year by 900 delegates from 120 nations through the 17th of the month in Medellin. The results of this assembly will place the new Post-2015 Agenda and the UN SDGs well ahead as a practical and socially responsible way of doing business, developing tourism, and making the planet sustainable.

Commentary article and analysis by Ambassador Col. David Wright on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and the Post-2015 Agenda. Col. Wright is a goodwill ambassador for Globcal International and the United Nations SDGs, he has been involved in the promotion of sustainable redevelopment since 1988.