A well-known definition for Sustainable development is derived from the Brundtland Report. In it, sustainable development is defined as, development that meets the needs of current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A grand definition indeed.
There are a number of challenges in unsderstanding and drafting strategies for sustainable development. Firstly, it’s in the definition. How do we define ‘the needs of current and future generations’ and ‘the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’?
The second challenge lies behind the mechanism. While we agree that sustainable development will bring goodness, how do we develop sustainably? How do we break away from conventional thoughts and practices? How do we integrate sustainable thinking in our daily life, in fulfilling our day-to-day duties of various spectrum (personal life, household responsibilities, social commitments, work duties, etc.)?
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also known as the SDGs, paint a holistic idea on the needs of current and future generations.They give a detailed yet simple and basic idea of the needs that should be met in order to achive sustainable development.
The needs would be fulfilled when people: have healthy food to eat; clean water to drink; clean air to breathe in; earn enough to enjoy a good quality of life; live a fulfilling and peaceful life; receive quality education as part of life (not a privilege); always have a roof above them - fitted with clean energy; cannot comprehend human rights issues and discrimination, as they become a story of the past; live in a society where gender does not dictate one’s life; have a notion that economic growth is outdated; automatically think along the lines of sustainable development; see and value resources - be it natural, social or human, as capital; accepts nothing but good governance; and understands that acknowledgment of interdependency and partnership is the way forward.
SDGs, together with their targets and indicators, are placing easily comprehensible context to the high-level definition of sustainable development. These SDGs are a stepping stone for any organization that would like to start their journey toward sustainable development. It gives a good overview through its 17 goals, captures all three aspects of sustainable development, and is an easy entry-level point for new practitioners without clear guidance on where to start.
By using the SDGs, we at Biji-biji have sucessfully tailored our own sustainability indicators in order for us to easily tackle economic, environmental and social issues. If you are wondering what are SDGs and how to implement them, we can assist you in deciphering the codes of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and potentially use them to suit your company's needs by integrating the SDGs and targets to your visions.
We usually provide this service in two ways:
- As a generic approach during conference where sessions are offered to conference participants
- A more individualistic approach for companies and organizations looking to implement sustainability.
The training sessions would serve as an Intro to SDGs and sustainabiliy management, creating an awareness on running a more sustainable business with noticable benefits in terms economic, social and environmental aspects.
If your company is interested in achieving:
- long-tem savings & growth
- increased efficiency
- better reputation and publicity
- stronger brand value and company image
- new customer demography - conscious consumers
- new revenue opportunities and business opportunities
Then aiming towards a sustainable development is defnitely for you as these are common perks to being a sustainable company
Another perk is also meeting goverment requirements. In early 2017 Bursa Malaysia made it mandatory for all registered listed companies to publish a Sustainable Statement. The SDGs can help in making this report more comprehensible and easier to develop as you will attain areas of interest to monitor and target.
Here is a list of companies that are doing their part to make the world a better place.
1. Kaiser Permanente invests in healthy communities.
2. Cummins is investing in solar power.
3. Microsoft YouthSpark helps young people develop computer skills.
4. Qualcomm brings wireless technology to underserved communities.
5. Siemens celebrates communities that foster green and sustainable economic solutions.
6. Nike uses recycled materials in most of its gear.