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The UN’s 17 Global Goals - A whistle-stop tour of the facts & how we should all be using them in our business strategies

(words by Louise)

What’s the Idea?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global social and environmental goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. The SDGs were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. They are part of UN Resolution 70/1, the 2030 Agenda.

What is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development?

It is a plan of action set out in 2015 to spend the next 15 years stimulating action in critical areas such as People, planet, prosperity, peace & partnership. It was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 and provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

What exactly are the Sustainable Development Goals?

Goal 1: No Poverty

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being

Goal 4: Quality Education

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 10: Reduced Inequality

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 15: Life on Land

Goal 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Goal 17: Partnerships to Achieve the Goal


SDGs at Work

SDGs should form part of any corporate strategy and can play a big role in your company’s employee engagement opportunity. The SDG’s replace the Millennium Development Goals and one of the critical differences is Goal 17 which identifies the need for corporations and individuals to get involved. There is a realisation that Governments cannot tackle these issues alone.


Aligning your company CSR goals with the SDGs will really help your overall strategy as well as engaging and retaining your key employees

What To Do in your workplace:

  1. Identify which goals appeal to you and your employees.

    This way you can really focus in on a few of the goals and your employees will be engaged and enthused. Different goals will appeal to different individuals and, this way, you can appeal to your whole team. At TAKK, we are focusing on the following goals which align with our overall strategy:

Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 10: Reduced Inequality

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 17: Partnerships to Achieve the Goal


2. Create a volunteer policy


While it can seem counterintuitive to employ someone and then give them time off to volunteer for a different organisation, it can really help engage your employees and help you to retain them. Volunteering can give individuals a huge sense of well-being and helping the ‘greater good’ which will provide huge dividends to your own business. Help identify opportunities that employees can help with either individually or with the rest of the company as a whole.


3. Design an SDG Newsletter

Communication is key to any business and a monthly newsletter is a great way of engaging employees with the company’s progress. Either start one or integrate your SDG goals into your existing newsletter so that employees can be kept updated on each other’s progress and congratulated on their own contributions. It will also become a useful tool in terms of inducting new employees to the importance of SDGs within your business.


A monthly newsletter outlining business news and SDG items will really engage your employees

4.Make A note of annual ‘World’ days that align with your SDGs

For example: ‘Earth Day’, ‘International Women’s day’, ‘World Health Day’. Mark these days in your company calendar and encourage employees to do something related on those days, whether it be volunteering or fundraising. Think about matching the funds that your employees raise towards company related SDGs. These will move you closer to your SDG targets and further engage and bond your employees.

Recognise World 'Days' that align with your company SDGs

5. Appoint a Social Responsibility leader

Give someone overall responsibility for overseeing the SDGs and monitoring engagement. This person can help organise any initiatives within the company, help team leaders integrate SDGs into their team strategies and be a central point of contact for any employees. This person can help track and report fundraising and volunteering and can share this with your employee newsletter designer.

Appointing someone internally to monitor and coordinate SDG related activities will help keep everyone engaged and on track

These small changes will help your business become more socially responsible as well as really engaging and enthusing your employees. Remember to keep asking them for their feedback and keep them involved in the shaping of your CSR goals and strategies.

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