What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

Blog November 5th, 2020

Universal, interconnected, and rapidly growing, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a roadmap for creating consistent, system-wide social, financial, and environmental value. Developed in 2015 by the 193 countries of the United Nations, the SDGs lay out 17 goals designed to achieve sustainable development for everyone globally by the year 2030.

In July 2017, implementation of the sustainable development goals was approved, and global SDG indicators were adopted by the U.N. General Assembly. These global indicators are complemented by indicators developed by Member States at the regional and national levels.  

The 17 SDGs are: (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-Being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (10) Reducing Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action, (14) Life Below Water, (15) Life On Land, (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, (17) Partnerships for the Goals.

Known as the “2030 Agenda,” the 17 SDGs represent an urgent call for developed and developing countries to come together to end poverty and other deprivations while also improving health and education, spurring economic growth, and reducing inequality. Climate change and working to preserve the earth’s oceans and forests are also key sustainable development goals.

Sustainable Innovation Leading the Way

Companies that positively impact people, planet, and profit often offer the most exciting sustainable innovations. And experts agree it is these innovators who must use their vast resources and scale to address societal and environmental issues.

Together with disruptive technologies, new mindsets and business models such as a circular economy are what define innovation in the sustainability sphere. What is sustainable innovation? It’s a process where, from idea generation to research and development and commercialization, sustainability considerations are integrated into a company’s systems.

A critical component of sustainability, innovation is now seen as an indicator of which companies are leaders and which are followers. Those who lead know that business as usual is not enough. The reinvention of products and services to achieve market advantages has taken the place of traditional determining factors like costs savings, risk management, and reputation.

The 17 SDGs are invaluable to advancing sustainability goals as they give innovators an awareness of the complicated and interrelated challenges humans face.

Plastics Critical for a Sustainable Future

Light, versatile, and entrenched in modern life, plastic will remain crucial into the foreseeable future, with the production of plastics weighing in at 1.124 billion tons by 2050. There are great opportunities available for sustainable plastics to be developed and used to bridge the gap of demand while closing the loop between waste to renewable resources. UBQ™ Material is designed to support a more circular economy by using waste traditionally sent to landfills.

Sustainable plastic materials allow companies and manufacturers to shift away from one-way plastic products and move toward sustainable solutions that are climate-positive and emphasize a zero-waste approach.

Transforming the World one SDG at a Time

At first glance, a product like UBQ might seem limited to meeting sustainable development goals like responsible consumption and production, climate action, and industry, innovation, and infrastructure. It’s important to keep in mind that all 17 SDGs are related; what’s accomplished in one goal has an effect on the remaining 16.Understanding the human-environment-society linkage between the 17 SDGs enables innovators to identify opportunities that have the greatest impact and are achievable within the next decade. UBQ believes it’s essential for companies to step up to their sustainability responsibilities. For our part, we’re dedicated to reimagining and reinventing the relationship between sustainability and the health of our people, planet, and profits, continually working to develop economically feasible solutions that advance the 17 sustainable development goals.