Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

DEFINITION: A UN document which features 17 sustainability goals and 169 smaller targets, including pledges to protect the world’s oceans, improve water management and the energy system, and take urgent action on climate change. The overarching aim of the document is to 'end poverty'. Delegates from 194 member states adopted the agreement in September 2015.

Related items

Amid call to boycott new clothing, many famed high street fashion retailers are grappling with losses and rethinking their business models. But online businesses? Not so much, argues senior reporter Sarah George

How online retailing is allowing fast fashion to thrive

In the first of a two-part feature, edie's senior reporter Sarah George explores how booming profits for online retailers are driving a fast fashion mindset in the UK that could undermine efforts to champion sustainability in the fashion sector, unless business and consumers find their voice.

Participants discussed the new skills sustainability professionals will need to hone over the next decade

From activist to activator: How are sustainability leaders' jobs changing in the era of climate activism?

After years of grappling for boardroom buy-in, sustainability professionals have seen the momentum of the plastics and climate movements place environmental considerations firmly at the feet of C-suite. So, how will this seismic shift in the conversation re-shape the sustainability profession?

Businesses are gearing up to redefine their purpose

10 ways business leadership will evolve during a crucial decade for sustainability

Sustainability experts and thought leaders were in attendance at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum to outline how the role of business in a society battling social and environmental crises like never before will change.

In 2018, research by UKSSD found that the UK is failing to perform on 76% of the targets under the 17 Goals

Boris Johnson urged to improve UK's SDG performance

A business coalition spearheaded by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) has today (29 January) delivered a brief to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for the Government to improve progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The SDG500 will focus specifically on developing nations, with a sub-focus on gender equality 

SDG500: Investors commit $500m to help developing nations achieve SDGs

A new coalition has been launched to mobilise a $500m (£380m) investment platform to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by targeting businesses operating in developing countries.

It is hoped that the recommendations report will drive a sense of accountability for the SDGs across corporates

Accounting bodies call for better disclosure on business SDG accountability

Leading accounting bodies have called for better corporate disclose on efforts to align reporting with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with a new report calling on organisations to disclose negative contributions in order to deliver change.

the UK is only performing well on 24% of SDG relevant targets

Business giants spearhead new UK SDG action plan

Business giants such as Nando's, Nestle, PwC have joined forces with RSPB, WWF to launch an action plan aimed at strengthening government performance against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by driving private sector collaboration.

How many of the below will you take on this year?

20 New Year's resolutions for sustainability professionals in 2020 and beyond

A new decade is upon us, and as the window to reverse and alleviate the climate crisis shortens, new long-term targets can provide sustainability professionals with the motivation and drive to transform their organisations into forces of good.

Vote using the function at the bottom of this piece to choose your defining moment of the 2010s

A decade in review: Vote for the defining sustainability moment of the 2010s

As the 2010s draw to a close, edie has analysed the key moments and announcements that push sustainability and climate action from a niche activity to a global necessity. Cast your vote to decide which of the seven moments was most profound.

This scheme brings together cross-sector organisations to build on the UKSSD’s report Measuring up, which highlighted UK calories from healthy foods consistently cost more than unhealthy food 

Multinationals get behind SDG food drive in UK

Fresh plans to drive forward progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UK through a food programme have been supported by Nestle, Nando's, BaxterStorey, and other organisations.

The Global Goals were launched in 2015 and have received the support of more than 10,000 companies to date.

Survey: UK businesses poised to deliver on the SDGs

Three-quarters of British firms believe they have a role to play in furthering national and international progress against the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new survey has found.

The report is the latest in a string of publications highlighting national and business-level challenges in aligning with the SDGs 

Report: EU set to miss all 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Almost every nation within the EU is failing to deliver the amount of progress needed for the bloc to meet any of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a "major" lack of progress recorded against SDG 13, Climate Action.

The WBCSD will partner with a business school in Spain, ESADE, to deliver the LEAP programme

WBCSD launches mentorship programme to develop women leaders in sustainability

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched a new programme to help women reach senior positions in companies and lead on embedding sustainability across entire corporate strategies.

The fund will cover companies operating in four key sectors: food, urban systems, supply chains and lifestyle. Image: Credit Suisse 

Credit Suisse unveils SDG-aligned consumer fund to accelerate circular economy shift

Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse has launched a consumer fund aimed at spurring progress towards the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Production and Consumption, as consumer demands for green finance grow.

Each of these success stories exemplifies how businesses are ramping up ambitions and actions in all areas of sustainable development 

NYC's Tesla taxis and SDG storytelling: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

To gain a place in the programme, startups will have to show Google their potential to help create a low-carbon, resource-efficient, more socially equal world. Image: Google

Google launches incubator for SDG-aligned startups

Google has this week launched a new "accelerator" programme for startups, aimed at supporting new firms striving to drive progress against one or more of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

MGM Resorts employs more than 80,000 staff across 30 hospitality and leisure brands. Image: MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts unveils SDG-aligned sustainability strategy

Hotelier MGM Resorts International has published a sweeping new sustainability strategy aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, after joining the UN Global Compact.

Marcia joins edie's content editor for an in-depth discussion on all things sustainability

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: In the Green Room with RELX's Marcia Balisciano

The Green Room makes its long-awaited return to the edie podcast, as content editor Matt Mace discuss Sustainable Development Goals, the evolution of CSR and the notion of fear in the climate battle with RELX's director of corporate responsibility Márcia Balisciano (MBE).

95% of Lincoln & York's staff voted in favour of the new strategy. Image: Lincoln & York

Coffee roaster Lincoln & York unveils SDG-aligned CSR strategy after staff vote

British coffee brand Lincoln & York has unveiled a sweeping new CSR strategy which aims to "deliver on as many of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as possible", beginning with the elimination of all single-use plastics by 2024.

Each of these success stories exemplifies how businesses are ramping up ambitions and actions in all areas of sustainable development 

Clean air for schools and 'hot rocks' in Cornwall: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

The two groups hope the initiative can act as a pilot for the rest of London and the UK

London Midtown businesses launch new SDG partnership

A coalition of more than 400 businesses in London's Midtown has partnered with the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), to accelerated business contributions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 Since 2005, RJC membership has grown from 14 to more than 1,100 organisations across the jewellery value chain

Responsible Jewellery Council joins UN Global Compact to act on SDGs

The Responsible Jewellery Council has forged a new partnership with the UN Global Compact which will see members such as Swarovski, Tiffany & Co and the De Beers Group, develop actions that align and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"Greenwashing", a lack of information and a lack of products were cited as key barriers to SDG-aligned investing

Survey: Two-thirds of UK public want their investments aligned with the SDGs

A new Government-led study on financing the progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has found that more than two-thirds of UK investors want their portfolios to solely support projects driving progress against the 17-Goal agenda.

Images (clockwise): UN Global Compact, UN Photo/Cia Pak, Mars, UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Everything you may have missed: The sustainability success stories of the UN Climate Summit

As the week of the UN's Climate Action Summit in New York draws to a close, edie highlights the numerous new green commitments, events and announcements made by businesses.

Research suggests that the SDGs may not be achieved until 2073

Business Avengers: Corporate giants assemble to deliver SDGs

A new "Business Avengers" coalition of 17 global corporates - including Unilever, Nike and Google - worth more than $500bn in revenue has been launched to make 2020 a year of activism to highlight how businesses can amplify actions to help hit the targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Businesses disclosing data to WRAP have, on average, reduced their food waste footprint 7% year-on-year

UK business giants mitigate 53,000 tonnes of food waste

WRAP has today (24 September) revealed that 121 of the UK's biggest food businesses are now providing evidence of their efforts to halve food waste by 2030, in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Collectively, the participating banks manage $47trn in assets. Image: Paulm27/ Wikimedia Commons

Banks representing one-third of global market to align with Paris climate targets

A coalition of 130 banks, representing one-third of the worldwide banking sector, have committed to aligning their actions with the aims of the Paris Agreement.

Weinberg believes the strategy sets a "clear direction of travel" for OVO's overarching mission to "power [the] world with positive energy". Image: Sarah George 

Plan Zero: Inside OVO Energy's bold vision to 'fight the climate crisis'

EXCLUSIVE: OVO Energy has today (19 September) published its first sustainability strategy, including plans not only to reach net-zero in its own operations 20 years ahead of the Government's deadline, but to mobilise society in collective climate activism.

This weekly round-up details how businesses across the world are ramping up ambitions and actions across all areas of sustainable development 

Rome's reverse-vending and BMW's e-Mini: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

(L-R) Presenter Chris Large, partner, Global Action Plan,Scottish Power’s Craig Bradley and compere Michaela Strachan

Meet the Sustainability Leader: Employee Engagement & Behaviour Change - Scottish Power

With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Employee Engagement & Behaviour Change Award, Scottish Power.

(L-R) Presenter Chris Large, partner, Global Action Plan,Scottish Power’s Craig Bradley and compere Michaela Strachan

Meet the Sustainability Leader: Employee Engagement & Behaviour Change - Scottish Power

With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Employee Engagement & Behaviour Change Award, Scottish Power.

The new 'Samsung Global Goals' app will be available in 19 languages as Samsung looks to "mobilise the next generation of citizens to take action and achieve the Goals together"

Samsung Global Goals: Tech giant unveils SDG app

Samsung is launching a new new mobile app and a range of special-edition accessories to help educate its consumers on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).