The basis of the ESG agenda is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Understanding what these are, and their importance is the first step to having a positive impact on your business, society, and the planet.
The SDGs are a groundbreaking global initiative aimed at addressing the most pressing challenges of our time. There are 17 goals, and 169 targets that are to be achieved by 2030. These goals serve as a comprehensive blueprint to guide governments, organisations, and individuals towards a sustainable and inclusive future.
These cover a wide range of issues including poverty eradication, quality education, clean energy, responsible consumption, and sustainable cities. This holistic approach recognises that no single problem can be solved in isolation and highlights the need for collaboration and cooperation.
These goals are largely grouped into the following:
End Poverty and Hunger
Goal 1 aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger worldwide. This objective goes beyond providing basic needs and focuses on ensuring access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. By addressing the root causes of poverty and hunger, the SDGs aim to create a more equitable and just society.
Gender Equality and Empowerment
Achieving gender equality is at the core of the SDGs. Goal 5 seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls while promoting their empowerment. Recognising that gender equality is not only a human rights issue but also a prerequisite for sustainable development, the SDGs strive to create an inclusive society where everyone can thrive.
Climate Action and Environmental Sustainability
The urgency of addressing climate change and protecting the environment is reflected in Goal 13. By adopting measures to combat climate change and its impacts, the SDGs emphasise the need for sustainable practices and the transition to clean energy sources. Through responsible consumption, conservation of biodiversity, and sustainable management of natural resources, the goals pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future.
Partnerships for Progress
The achievement of the SDGs requires collaborative efforts from governments, civil society, private sector entities, and individuals. Goal 17 emphasizes the importance of building strong partnerships and mobilizing resources to implement and monitor progress towards the goals. By fostering cooperation at local, national, and global levels, the SDGs promote a shared responsibility for sustainable development.
These goals provide a comprehensive roadmap for a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable world. Therefore, they are just as important for companies that are based in and operate from Jersey. In fact, these may be considered more relevant to Island nations given the greater impact felt from climate change, and life under water for example.
How BDO Can help
To learn more about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the relevance to Jersey and how you can get involved, we encourage you to contact us for further information. Together, let's work towards a world where no one is left behind, and the world can thrive.
We can help organisations conduct a materiality assessment to determine which of the SDGs and wider ESG metrics are applicable to your business; using this a as a basis to create a focused strategy to start your ESG journey.