The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations. They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large. The SDGs are an inclusive agenda. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet.
The SDGs also represented an unprecedented set of business opportunities – our friends at the Business and Sustainable Development Commission estimate it to be at least $12 trillion across 60 market opportunities, primarily in 4 key areas: food & agriculture, cities, energy & materials and health & wellbeing. Their report ‘Better Business, Better World‘ is a must-read for anyone who remains to be convinced that taking an interest in sustainability is good for business.
OPEN will make its own contribution to the SDGs by actively promoting engagement in them around the world by business educators, learners and practitioners – a core objective of ours that we have enshrined into our legal statutes as an organisation. To reflect this, we have applied (and been granted by the UN) use of the SDG colour wheel as part of our logo. We also work with various parts of the UN system including the UN Global Compact (and its Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative), the SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) and the SDG Action Campaign (part of the UN Development Programme) to further our contributions to the promotion and achievement of the SDGs.