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.

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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.

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).

The EU has committed to support the SDGs, but its Council claims more could be done on a national level to accelerate progress

EU Council calls on Member States to embed SDGs in national strategies

The Council of the European Union (EU) is urging the bloc and its member states to place the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework at the heart of their national and international environmental and economic strategies.

More than 9,000 companies and investors with more than $4trn in assets have pledged their support to the SDGs

Paul Polman co-founds Imagine venture to drive corporate action towards SDGs

Ex-Unilever chief executive Paul Polman has launched a new global initiative aimed at combatting poverty and climate change as part of efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Click on the link to download the report

SDG Spotlight report: What is the role of business in creating clean energy for all?

edie has launched its latest SDG Spotlight report, looking at how businesses can transform operations, services, supply chains and strategies to help achieve the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), with the latest focusing on Goal 7: Clean Energy.

SDG Spotlight: How businesses can achieve Goal 7 - Clean and affordable energy

This edie report, sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions, sets out exactly how the business community can collectively achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, within the next decade.

Talking SDG engagement with Ben Kellard, Peter Andrews and Tor Harris

edie's Mission Possible sofa chat show returns for 2019. In this episode, edie discusses the Sustainable Development Goals with leading experts from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Waitrose.

Talking sustainability leadership with Gudrun Cartwright, Steve Kenzie and Rosanna Cole

edie's Mission Possible sofa chat show returns for 2019. In this episode, edie discusses what it means to be a sustainability leader with Business in the Community's environment director Gudrun Cartwright, N Global Compact's UK network director Steve Kenzie and supply chain expert Rosanna Cole.

Cemex is one of the world's largest building materials firms, employing more than 50,000 people across 50 countries and recording annual sales of around $16bn (£12.7bn)

Cemex commits to align strategy with the SDGs

Multinational cement and building materials giant Cemex has pledged to align its business and sustainability strategies with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, after identifying key focus areas through mapping exercises.

There's still time to register for a FREE pass to attend Day Two

Insight, inspiration and innovation continue into final day of edie Live 2019

Members of the UK's sustainability and energy management communities have descended upon the NEC in their thousands, with sessions at full capacity throughout the first day of edie Live 2019 and the action now set continue into the second and final day (22 May).

Polman: "Profits and purpose are inextricably linked."

Paul Polman: Courage and collaboration will help business accomplish Mission Possible

EXCLUSIVE: This year's Mission Possible: 2019 report has just landed, and edie is offering a sneak preview by way of the rousing report foreword penned by revered sustainability leader and ex-Unilever chief executive Paul Polman, in full.

<p>£1.4bn of the financing for Tideway's £4.3bn 'super sewer' project is accounted for by green bonds</p>

How SDG alignment helped Tideway engage key investors

EXCLUSIVE: Several companies to have aligned their strategies with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have claimed that doing so has improved communications and created a more joined-up approach - but for Tideway, a further benefit has been gaining investor buy-in.

<p>Since the unveiling of the framework in 2015, 193 countries, 9000 companies and investors with more than $4 trillion in assets have pledged their support to the SDGs</p>

World Bank to raise €1.5bn for SDG bond

The World Bank had raised €1.5bn for a new 10-year bond focused on mobilising action towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Last year, 10.2 million tonnes of food were wasted in the UK

Business giants sign new government-led pledge to halve food waste by 2030

A coalition of big-name businesses from across the food and drink sector, including Nestle and Waitrose & Partners, have today (13 May) made a joint commitment to halve their food waste outputs by 2030, in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The webinar showcased specific examples of how businesses have aligned their green ambitions with the Global Goals

Seven top tips for aligning your business strategy with the SDGs

During a "power hour" webinar hosted by edie on Wednesday (8 May), experts from Hilton, Thai Union, Asia Pulp & Paper and Centrica Business Solutions advised on aligning business strategies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here, edie rounds up the key takeaways.

The webinar will be available to watch on demand after 8 May for those who have registered

Available on demand: edie's SDG webinar featuring Hilton, Thai Union and Asia Pulp & Paper

Sustainability professionals seeking insight and advice on aligning business strategies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can now watch an hour-long webinar featuring experts from Thai Union, Hilton and Asia Pulp & Paper on demand.

As SMEs and luxury brands bolstered their sustainability efforts during 2018, high street giants failed to follow suit, the report claims

Report: Fashion sector stalling on sustainability progress, with high street giants holding industry back

The global fashion industry's overall efforts to operate more sustainability have slowed by one-third on a year-on-year basis, with actions failing to decouple emissions from the sector's rapid growth in a way that would align with the Paris Agreement's aims.

SDG 13 is the first Goal to be published under the SDG Spotlight format, with more set to follow

edie launches SDG Spotlight reports to highlight how businesses can achieve the Global Goals

edie has launched its first SDG Spotlight report, the first of many downloadable reports looking at how businesses can transform operations, services, supply chains and strategies to help achieve the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), with the first focusing on Goal 13: Climate Action.

SDG Spotlight: How businesses can achieve Goal 13 - Climate Action

This brand-new edie report maps out exactly how the business community can collectively achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 - Climate Action - within the next decade.

The UN Global Compact has previously warned that firms which do not communicate both positive and negative contributions to all 17 Global Goals could soon lose out on investment

SDGs becoming a 'new compass' for sustainable investing, survey finds

More than half of institutional investors to have incorporated environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues into their frameworks are using the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guideline, a new survey has found.

Bournemouth University's sustainability team plumped for the JUMP scheme following its success at Swansea University and the University of Chichester, Smith told edie

How gamification is helping Bournemouth University engage staff with the SDGs

EXCLUSIVE: With 169 targets and 232 indicators across 17 large-scale sustainability challenges, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are often seen as a communications challenge due to their scope and scale. But by using gamification, Bournemouth University has managed to engage the majority of staff with the vast SDG agenda.

According to the UN, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cooling are currently on track to increase by 90% by 2050

The Cool Coalition: Business giants unite in drive for low-emission cooling

A coalition of more than 20 businesses, NGOs, local authorities, policymakers and higher education establishments have forged a new joint initiative aimed at spurring the global transition to low-emission cooling.

In 2018, Bank of America deployed more than $50bn on projects that impacted areas outlined by the SDGs. Image: Bank of America

Bank of America commits $300bn to sustainable finance

Bank of America has issued its third commitment to sustainable finance, pledging to mobilise an additional $300bn (£230bn) in capital by 2030, with a previous commitment set to be achieved six years ahead of schedule.

The GRI chair claimed that a cooperative approach would be essential in spurring action towards the SDGs

GRI calls for business and governments to partner on SDGs

The chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) had called for greater collaboration and cooperation between businesses and national governments in order to achieve the aims of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SRA has called on hospitality and leisure businesses to keep more food on plates - not in bins

Is it time for the hospitality sector to align to the SDGs?

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has called on the food industry to follow the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to achieve the innovation required to accelerate climate action.

The Good Times from a Good Place strategy has various goals to be achieved by 2025 and 2030

Pernod Ricard targets SDGs and regenerative agriculture as part of 2030 goals

Beverage giant Pernod Ricard has today (3 April) launched a new sustainability roadmap aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that commits to ambitious new targets relating to regenerative agriculture and biodiversity, recyclable packaging and a science-based carbon target.

The global drinks firm launched a new sustainability strategy on 3 April 2019. Images: Pernod Ricard

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: In the Green Room with Pernod Ricard's Vanessa Wright

Welcome back to the green room - edie's exclusive interview hub for sustainability leaders, brought to you as part of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next to provide the insights of a leading sustainable business: Pernod Ricard's vice president of global sustainability Vanessa Wright.

The EAC will confirm the date for the one-off evidence session in due course

MPs to scrutinise Government's SDG review

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is set to hold a one-off evidence session to examine the UK Government's voluntary national review towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

An estimated 821 million people across the globe go hungry

Food banks help reduce emissions by 10 million tonnes, report finds

Food banks around the world have helped mitigate more than 10.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions by preventing almost 2.7 million metric tonnes of edible food being wasted, a new report has found.

BNP Paribas aligns with SDGs and Paris Agreement in new sustainability strategy

French banking giant BNP Paribas has outlined its latest strategy to accelerate its commitment to sustainable development.

(L:R) Veris Environmental Finance’s chairman James Atkins; CISL founder and director Polly Courtice; he European Commission’s director general for the environment Daniel Calleja Crespo and The Economist’s business editor Jan Piotrowski

How can business transform unsustainable economic models from within?

We are only able to enjoy our current standard of living due to economic growth. But with emissions, resource consumption and social inequality all rising under capitalism, will the economic model need to be completely overhauled to ensure a sustainable future?

SSE will also require all senior management to be judged against the delivery of the 2030 strategy

SSE launches new corporate strategy aligned to SDGs

UK energy firm SSE has unveiled a new sustainability strategy for 2030 aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that will deliver a 50% cut in carbon intensity, trebling its renewable electricity output and facilitating the uptake of 10 million electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK.

More than 9,000 companies have pledged to support the SDGs to date, but reporting is yet to be unified

Corporate reporting bodies launch framework championing SDG alignment

A coalition of corporate reporting framework providers and CDP have published new advice aimed at unifying the business community's approach to reporting in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In action: The environmental legacy of the Thames Tideway Tunnel

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a new major piece of infrastructure for London, capturing an average of 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage which currently enters the tidal River Thames every year. If no action is taken, this is anticipated to reach 70 million tonnes by 2020.

Take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories, and click the links below to read them for yourself

More plastic pledges, rising CSR stars and #ThisIsACrisis: Top 10 sustainability stories of February 2019

As the shortest month of the year draws to a close, we take a look back at February's biggest sustainability and energy stories. The round-up includes Iceland's plastic-free produce, Amazon's carbon-neutral shipments, edie's new 30 Under 30 initiative and the 'Sustainability Oscars'.

Of the 143 targets considered relevant to the domestic delivery of the SDGs, a report notes that the UK is only performing well on 24% of its targets

UK Government urged to increase engagement with the SDGs

The CBI and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have called on the UK Government to create "clear definitions" and communication plans to act on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using access to green finance to mobilise private sector action.

case studies will appear on the edie website every month, alongside exclusive blogs and podcast segments

edie launches new case study series highlighting business action towards the SDGs

In an effort to mobilise business contributions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), edie has launched a new best-practice case study series highlighting how businesses are helping to achieve the Global Goals.

Richard Ellis explained the importance of using the SDGs to communicate the business benefits of running CSR initiatives

How SDG alignment helped Walgreens Boots Alliance prove the profitability of sustianability

EXCLUSIVE: By aligning the company's sustainability strategy with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Walgreens Boot Alliance's sustainability team have been able to secure "far greater" boardroom-level support for its actions, the company's vice president for CSR has revealed.

The 2019 Sustainability Leaders Forum takes the theme of 'Embracing the fierce urgency of NOW' to address some of the biggest challenges of our time

Embracing the fierce urgency of NOW: One week left until Sustainability Leaders Forum 2019

Plastic thinkathons, SDG Leadership Labs, live vodcast discussions and panel debate featuring the likes of Carlsberg, Interface and Unilever complete an all-star line-up for edie's flagship Sustainability Leaders Forum 2019 - taking place next Tuesday and Wednesday (5-6 February) in London.

Refinitiv operates in 190 countries worldwide

Refinitiv pledges to become a net-zero-carbon business in 2020

Finance giant Refinitiv has committed to becoming carbon-neutral by the end of 2020, as part of a new range of sweeping environmental and social sustainability pledges.

A UN climate summit will be convened in September in New York to mobilise action by political leaders, the business community and civil society

UN chief outlines climate change and SDGs as key 2019 priorities

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that countries must "dramatically accelerate" efforts to tackle climate change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the year ahead.

edie lists how 13 major businesses are performing against their plastic pledges

In depth: How are businesses performing against their plastic pledges?

Over the last two years, some the world's largest businesses have made ambitious new commitments to eliminating single-use plastics. Here, edie rounds up what progress some of these businesses have made to date.

Which resolutions will you pick?

19 New Year's resolutions for sustainability professionals in 2019

Love them or hate them, New Year's resolutions are a tool to motivate and inspire individuals to start a new calendar year with renewed focus. Here, edie has listed 19 resolutions for sustainability professionals in 2019 that will help businesses ignite a new era of leadership.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses and nations across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Tesco's EV charging network and Sweden's ice hotel: 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.

PwC has warned that businesses are still failing to set measurable KPIs relating to the Global Goals, three years after the framework was created

PwC: Business still failing to turn SDG ambition into action

Just over a quarter (28%) of businesses have set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help them measure and disclose their positive contributions towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), despite repeated warnings that corporate action has been slow and weak.

Milikin and Barcenas discuss some of the brewer’s notable achievements to date. Photo credit for Ezgi Barcenas: Bloomberg

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: In the green room with AB InBev's Tony Milikin and Ezgi Barcenas

Welcome back to the green room - edie's exclusive interview hub for sustainability leaders, brought to you as part of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next to provide the insights of a leading sustainable business: Ab InBev's chief sustainability and procurement officer Tony Milikin and global vice president of sustainability Ezgi Barcenas.

The letter argues that ‘progress is not being made quickly enough’ to deliver adequate progress on the SDGs

Religious leaders urge Theresa May to appoint dedicated SDG minister

Leaders within the UK's six most predominant religions have urged Prime Minister Theresa May to bolster the Government's action plans for achieving the aims of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), after a recent report revealed that the nation is delivering on less than a quarter of its SDG targets.