Updated on June 19, 2019
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a rallying cry for our planet and an outline for businesses around the globe that want to contribute to a better world but may not know where to focus their energies. Below we take a look at these goals, digging into how your company can benefit from them. And… you might already be contributing to these goals without knowing.
3 ways to benefit from the SDGs
The SDGs build upon the Millennium Development Goals, which had a mission of reducing inequality worldwide by 2015. They are more than lofty ideas thought up by politicians. They are an action oriented blueprint that can help align your company to the future of our world. How?
1. They make it easier to structure your CSR strategy
With 17 clear directives for how to eradicate poverty and fight climate change, the SDGs are a good starting point for developing your own CSR strategy. The framework offers an overview, which makes it easier to connect your company’s objectives, values and actions with these globally shared goals.
2. They ensure a relevant contribution to a better world
Supported by 193 different countries and developed with our collective world in mind, the SDGs are a good indicator of how your sustainability strategy fits within the larger context, and are not just a drop in the ocean. With all our efforts combined we will establish a meaningful difference in the world.
3. The indirect effect
You could be contributing to the SDGs without even knowing. For example, the UTZ program is working on a number of these goals and that means our partners are too. So the SDGs could be a great tool for you to assess new partnerships (e.g. with suppliers), thereby amplifying your impact together.
Our organization and the SDG’s
The UTZ program works directly and indirectly on most of the SDGs. Below we highlight 5 of the goals that our organization – and by extension, our partners – are taking action on.
GOAL 17: PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
We work with 1.4 million farmers and workers in 41 countries around the world (2018). We also partner with thousands of companies globally, including many of the world’s biggest brands. We recognize that certification alone is not enough to effectuate change on sector level. Therefore we work together with civil society, companies and governments on the issues most critical to farmers, whether they are certified or not, such as gender equality, climate change, living wage and child labor.
GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
The UTZ program trains farmers on better farming methods that conserve resources and energy in all aspects of production. We also work with international companies around the world to make a difference to global consumption patterns.
GOAL 5: GENDER EQUALITY
We work to empower women and create greater gender equality on all UTZ certified farms around the world. We do this by helping to ensure equal pay, equal participation in farmer groups and access to maternity leave, among other things.
GOAL 13: CLIMATE ACTION
We recognize the challenges climate change creates for farmers and the threat it poses to our world at large. To help tackle this issue, we work to raise awareness among farmers, train them to adapt to the changing environment through better farming methods and reduce their own impact on the environment.
GOAL 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
Our program is centered around providing a sustainable livelihood for farmers. This is achieved by increasing productivity through better farming methods, which thereby increases income. Core to this is the principle of a ‘living wage.’
Read more: “SDGs mean business”
In 2017, WWF in collaboration with ISEAL published this report: “SDGs mean business: How credible standards can help companies deliver the 2030 agenda”. It confirms how credible sustainability standards like UTZ offer businesses a ready-made tool to contribute to achieving the SDGs. At the same time the report outlines how this represents a business opportunity for companies: investing in meeting the SDGs can unlock new markets and opportunities and secure a company’s long-term prosperity.