When you read a company’s sustainability strategy or report, you would notice that it refers to at least one of the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN developed this as a universal call to action for countries to work in global partnership with each other to strive towards peace and prosperity for the wellbeing of people and the planet by 2030. When companies choose to contribute to the SDGs, they commit to delivering sustainable and equitable solutions through their business.
17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by United Nations (UN)
The SDGs form a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face like poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.
Sustainable Development Goals 13 & 15 explained
In conjunction with World Rainforest Day 2022, we would like to zoom in on two SDGs that aim to raise awareness and encourage people to take action in protecting the rainforest.
Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action
As 1.3 million lives were lost in geophysical disasters in less than two decades, SDG 13 was developed to practise and adopt new changes to support low-carbon development as well as control climate change. The main aim of SDG13: Climate Action is to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries, especially the vulnerable regions.
So what can we do on a personal and organisational level?
- Raise awareness by educating ourselves (and our colleagues) on the seriousness of Climate Change;
- Implementing Climate Change measures in the company’s strategies, policies, and guidelines – which is something that we are working on at FSMK.
Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land
Humans depend on 80% of agriculture as our natural resources and habitat, yet we clear 13 million hectares of forest every year. Because of that, thousands of animals and plants are at risk of extinction to fuel unchecked human consumption. SDG 15: Life on Land aims to reduce the degradation of natural habitats while protecting flora and fauna facing extinction.
Again, what can we do to support SDG15?
- Reduce the use of paper products and, when the use is unavoidable, consider either recycling or reusing them before refusing them appropriately;.
- Pledge and support organisations that support reforestation efforts, for example the KL-based Free Tree Society that gives away free trees to the public, and the OneMillionTrees Movement in Singapore.
Creating an inclusive, sustainable, equal and responsible future through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a long-term undertaking to reverse, counter, and contain the environmental, political and economic challenges we face today. However, creating this future is impossible without our participation as individuals or as a company. It may seem that when you are pursuing this alone, your efforts are minute. Consider that when we go on this journey together, and in the long run, our collective and sustained efforts can materialize that future one community at a time. With enough communities working in concert with each other, we can achieve sustainable development on this planet we call home.
To learn more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), check out this YouTube video:
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