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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The exclusive, one-hour webinar will take place on Tuesday 25 July at 11am (BST), and will conclude with a live audience Q&A

TODAY AT 11AM: Tune into edie's free webinar on supply chain ethics

Sustainability and CSR professionals can tune into a live, interactive webinar on Tuesday 25 July, which will discuss how businesses can enhance social sustainability through ethical supply chain management.

The WBCSD has launched the Natural Capital Protocol toolkit - a free and interactive database for businesses to explore and carry out natural capital assessments across their operations

Businesses moving in right direction on natural capital, says World Business Council

EXCLUSIVE: Companies have taken a "huge step in the right direction" over the past 12 months when it comes to measuring business impacts on nature, the director of natural capital at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has told edie.

Carbon Clear chief executive Mark Chadwick said that the expanded business would offer an “unparalleled” level of technical expertise and commercial knowledge

EcoAct Group takeover of Carbon Clear signals global 'climate leadership'

French climate finance project developer EcoAct Group has taken over London-based sustainability consultancy Carbon Clear in a bid to help businesses make a low-carbon shift on a global scale.

Just under half of respondents said they would not work for a business that they considered to act unethically

Put purpose ahead of profit, say more than a third of British public

New research released today (12 July) reveals that 37% of UK consumers believe that businesses should put social purpose ahead of making profits.

All projects certified under the Gold Standard for the Global Goals will have to contribute to at least three SDGs, with the Climate Action goal being a mandatory requirement

New standard launched to certify business commitments to SDGs

A new standard was launched on Monday (10 July) to quantify, certify and maximise the business contributions to the development of climate change mitigation and other key targets listed by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Research shows that the SDGs could add $12trn to the global economy by 2030

Mastercard and HP pledge support to SDG principles

Financial services provider Mastercard and global tech firm HP have this week shown their commitment to the doctrines of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with respective pledges around food poverty and education.

A commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was identified as key reasons why companies are considered to be leaders in corporate sustainability

Sustainability will distinguish leading businesses in next decade, survey finds

The world's leading organisations in the next decade will be defined by their ability to integrate sustainability into their core business model, according to a new survey conducted by strategy consultancies Globescan and SustainAbility.

CWG's latest CSR report reveals that the business is considering the adoption of science-based targets

Canary Wharf Group reduces emissions despite portfolio expansion

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has managed to reduce emissions by 14.4% across its estate despite increasing its portfolio in the last year, according to the British property company's latest CSR report.

WBCSD's Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FReSH) programme is designed to “accelerate transformational change in global food systems”

World Business Council issues call to arms for private sector to tackle food waste

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has issued a rallying call for businesses to address challenges relating to nutrition and sustainable food production, with a specific call for cross-sector collaboration.

PwC has established a series of commitments and actions that that will help showcase the positive role of technology, as well as mitigate potentially adverse social, ethical and environmental concerns

How digital technology can be a force for good in sustainability

Harnessing the digital technologies of the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' will accelerate solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), PwC's head of corporate sustainability has claimed.

Although Polman called for swift business actions, delegates at the event warned that “bold and fast” commitments could become susceptible to greenwashing

Paul Polman: Businesses must champion sustainability in era of 'short-sighted' politics

Unilever's chief executive Paul Polman has called on the business community to deliver the low-carbon transition during a period of "short-sighted" politics, while business leaders from McDonald's, SC Johnson and C&A have advised that consumer trust must be at the heart of action.

Sainsbury's has replaced the Fairtrade logo with its own Fairly Traded mark on key lines of the retailer's own-brand tea

Sainsbury's prompts backlash from Fairtrade after developing its own 'Fairly Traded' eco-label

Sainsbury's has clashed with The Fairtrade Foundation after the supermarket group launched its own sustainability standard which effectively negates the need for external ethical certification labels on its products.

Middle-management and wider employees remain “disconnected from the narrative” of the SDGs

Middle-management 'disconnected' from Sustainable Development Goals, report finds

A "strong appetite" to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is being hindered by a lack of engagement and understanding in mid-management and employees, a new report described as the "wake-up call to the importance of working together" found.

Juniper said that despite the volatile policy landscape, the underlying case for private sector leadership is stronger than ever

Tony Juniper: Sustainability will determine business survival by 2050

Businesses that fail to integrate sustainability as a core business principle will struggle to survive by 2050, leading environmentalist Tony Juniper said on the opening day of edie Live this week.

Labour has unveiled pledges costing £48.6bn, to be funded from extra tax revenue, in its election manifesto. Photo: @paulwaugh / Twitter

Labour manifesto: Renewables revolution, air quality crackdown and SDG push

The official Labour Party manifesto has been broadly praised by green groups for including a raft of bold pledges to ramp up renewable energy generation, tackle air quality and embed the Sustainable Development Goals into central government.

The UN projects a world population of up to 11 billion by 2050

Businesses warned of increasingly finite resources as global population passes 7.5 billion

The business community faces rising prices and "cutthroat" competition as the global population continues to surge, according to research which shows there are now 7.5 billion people in the world.

The MSC will include new priority species such as squid, octopus, crab and seaweed

Marine Stewardship Council unveils new sustainable seafood targets to mark 20th anniversary

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has celebrated its 20th anniversary by unveiling new targets to increase the amount of sustainable seafood caught across the world.

The Government should look for effective ways to promote responsible business behaviour, MPs insist

MPs accuse Government of having 'no clear plan' to implement SDGs

The UK Government has failed to set out a clear plan to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or encourage businesses to do likewise, according to new research from a cross-party watchdog.

A capitalist agenda based on unbound profitability is being challenged by a new wave of economies focused on sustainable and responsible growth

Sustainability megatrends: Realising the business case for sustainable economic growth

edie's series of exclusive thought-leadership articles on the global impact of megatrends culminates with New Climate Economy's programme director Helen Mountford exploring how businesses and governments are developing more sustainable models of economic growth that are fit for the future.

171 businesses from across the UK have been recognised for their contribution to international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity

Queen's Awards recognise UK business contribution to sustainable development

Construction firm Carillion and beverage company Bettys & Taylors are among almost a dozen businesses to today (21 April) receive the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.

The two Dutch firms have agreed the first deal in the syndicated loan market where the pricing is linked to a Sustainalytics rating

Philips agrees €1bn loan connecting sustainability performance with finance

Philips has agreed a pioneering €1bn loan in collaboration with banking group ING, with an interest rate dependent on the year-on-year advance of the global lighting firm's sustainability performance.

The skyline of Istanbul, Turkey - a nation that is currently 73% urbanised and projected to be 80% urbanised by 2030

Sustainability megatrends: Urbanisation, smart cities and the future of green business

edie's series of exclusive thought-leadership articles on the global impact of megatrends continues with PwC's director of cities and urbanisation, Dan Dowling, exploring how urbanisation and smart city growth can be a powerful force for sustainable development and shared prosperity, if it's managed correctly.

The world is facing demographic and social transformations that will have profound implications both locally and globally, posing significant challenges for governments and businesses

Sustainability megatrends: The ever-changing landscape of population growth and social change

Next in edie's series of thought-leadership articles on the global impact of megatrends, Carillion's chief sustainability officer David Picton explores how businesses can adapt to the increasing challenges of demographic and social change at a time when populations are continuing to rise and people in all regions are living longer.

The report highlights the need for more practices to be introduced to boost training prospects for those entering the renewables sector

Survey: Renewables workforce concerned about future skills shortage

A relatively young workforce in the renewables sector could create a future skills shortage unless mentoring and coaching is improved, while hiring managers across the energy sector are increasingly willing to recruit from other sectors to inspire "a new way of thinking" into companies.

Momentum within the private sector is thought to be gradually increasing, as responses show that companies are beginning to witness material opportunities

'Time for a step-change': Research finds slow corporate progress on SDGs

Sustainability experts believe progress towards each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) has been slow, especially in the private sector, according to new research.

The World Bank's head office. Photo: World Bank

World Bank unveils first green bonds linking business actions to SDGs

The World Bank has issued its first ever set of green bonds that directly link financial returns to companies performing to the standards and aims on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UK businesses will be called upon throughout the new Courtauld 2025 scheme to investigate innovate methods of encouraging consumer waste reduction

Innovation must be at heart of food waste fight, industry experts agree

EXCLUSIVE: Open-source innovation will be a central tool to help businesses meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 objective of halving global food waste by 2030, a group of industry experts including the heads of Tesco and WRAP have told edie.

The latest Champions report analysed data from more 1,200 business sites across 17 countries and more than 700 companies across a range of sectors

Report: Tackling food waste offers 'triple win' for businesses to accelerate economic growth

Company efforts to tackled food waste can generate a "triple win" for the economy, food security and the environment while also generating financial returns of around $14 for every $1 spent on mitigation.

SDGs mean business: How credible standards can help companies deliver the 2030 Agenda

This new report published by WWF and ISEAL indicates how businesses can contribute strongly to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and unlock new market opportunities by using credible voluntary sustainability standards to transform entire sectors and supply chains.

Businesses agreed that natural capital valuations and environmental degradation risks must align with the 25 Year Environment Plan in order to reach broader global goals

Businesses call for SDGs to act as a pillar for long-term environmental policy

More than 60 organisations have called on the UK Government to place the spirit and aims of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of the proposed 25 Year Environment Plan to foster natural capital valuation and increase business prosperity.

Twinings will work with partners such local governments and organisations including UNICEF and WaterAid to find solutions at a grassroots level

Twinings brews up new human rights framework in CSR drive

British tea brand Twinings has launched a pioneering global sustainability framework as part of a mission to improve the lives of half a million people in the global tea supply chain by 2020.

David Bent chaired edie's 2017 Sustainability Leaders Forum at the Business Design Centre in London on 25-26 January

In shocking times, corporate sustainability needs to pivot

Fresh from chairing edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum last week, sustainable business advisor David Bent shares his three key insights from the event, which brought together ambitious professionals to discuss transformational change.

Despite adopting the goals more than a year ago, an inquiry was launched in July 2016 by the Environmental Audit Committee concerning the speed of implementation of the SDGs in the UK

Theresa May urged to commit to $12trn SDG opportunity

More than 80 global firms including Unilever, Coca-Cola and BT have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to demonstrate commitment to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); on the same day that research revealed that the Goals could add $12trn to the global economy.

The World Bank officially launched the partnership during COP22 in Marrakech, but this is the first time the Carbon Trust has issued a statement on its involvement

Carbon Trust joins World Bank project to boost clean innovation in emerging countries

Consultancy firm the Carbon Trust has teamed up with the World Bank in support of its new Climate Business Innovation Network (CBIN) to help commercialise clean technologies across developing countries.

Science-based emissions reduction targets are a crucial step in the global effort to prevent the worst consequences of climate change

Science-based targets top choice for sustainability leaders, edie survey reveals

The adoption of science-based targets to drive climate action is continuing to move rapidly up the corporate agenda, with more than half of sustainability leaders either beginning to apply or fully embedding the methodology within their organisation.

Disruption will come partly through the need to avoid runaway climate change, and partly through the increasingly urgent need to reinvent capitalism

Disrupt or die: Preparing for the next generation of sustainability

edie's Sustainability Leadership month continues, and today it's Forum for the Future founder-director Jonathon Porritt's turn to pen an exclusive thought leadership opinion piece, offering an eye-opening insight into the future of corporate sustainability.

The 17 SDGs were introduced in September 2015 with an aim to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and justice and combat climate change by 2030

Lack of collaboration hindering UK uptake of Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are increasing in prominence amongst UK businesses, although siloed working conditions are still impacting the ability for the private sector to deliver social and environmental change.

The ISO 37101:2016 Standard is designed to help communities to develop holistic and integrated approaches instead of working in silos

ISO 37101: New standard published to support sustainable development

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has this week launched a new information standard to help city leaders set their city's sustainable development agenda.

The 200th company to officially commit was South African-based private hospital group Mediclinic Southern Africa

200 companies now committed to science-based targets

An initiative that calls on companies to cut their carbon footprints in line with scientific studies geared towards a two degrees global warming limit is "far exceeding" it's timeline, with 200 companies now signed up to the scheme - just 18 months after its inception.

Beyond creating a 'nice story' as part of a company’s CSR commitments, what is the business case for not just investigating water security, but actually improving it?

Liquid assets: Strengthening the business case for water management

With global water supplies running dry at an alarming rate, edie's Matt Mace hears from some of the private sector's leading lights on tackling water scarcity to uncover the business case that lies beneath the surface.

Paul Polman (centre-left) spoke at an anniversary event for the 700-page Review launched in 2006 by Lord Nicholas Stern (centre-right)

Paul Polman: Every business in the world must make a climate commitment

Unilever chief executive Paul Polman has urged the business community to act on its moral duty and deliver on the sustainability objectives set through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

Businesses are missing out on attracting investment from the ever-growing number of investors that incorporate CSR information into their financial analysis and decision-making

Businesses must address 'internal disconnect' to deliver sustainability success

Sustainability and investor agendas are becoming increasingly intertwined, but gaps in knowledge and understanding are preventing companies and investors from sharpening their focus on long-term sustainable value creation, a new report has found.

Under Ambition 2025, FDF will develop a comprehensive online signposting tool to guide members in integrating sustainable sourcing into their supply chains

Food manufacturers unveil 2025 targets to deliver 'sustainable food system of the future'

McCain Foods, Cadbury, Coca-Cola GB and McVitie's are among a host of British food and drink manufacturers that have developed a series of ambitious new sustainability commitments this week.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development report praises the 'leading light' companies that are demonstrating the best reporting practices among Council members

SDGs underpin 'positive progress' of corporate sustainability reporting

Nearly a third (30%) of world-leading companies are now implementing the framework into their sustainability and integrated reports, as the push to mainstream non-financial reporting continues to gain momentum.

The report by Aecom and CDP discovered that 89% of cities now view climate change as a 'significant risk', but just 44% have climate action plans in place

Business-led collaboration key to delivering climate action in cities, says Aecom

The private sector must step up collaboration efforts with city and regional governments to create more robust solutions to combat the economic and environmental impacts of climate change in major cities, the co-author of a new report on the subject has told edie.

The Aldersgate Group event also commemorated the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change

Lord Stern: Business must build 'green growth' story to advance industrial strategy

Lord Nicholas Stern has called on businesses to make an effective case for low-carbon investment in the upcoming months to help construct an industrial strategy that is "green, sustainable and provides a leading example" to the world economy.

edie Sustainability Leaders Forum - full programme

No longer a matter of compliance, sustainability is a strategic imperative as investors, NGOs, employees and consumers demand more from organisations. But what does sustainability leadership look like in an uncertain regulatory climate and how will that evolve as business leaders take a critical, long-term view of their growth strategies?

The research reveals a

Business must address 'timid action' to achieve SDGs

One year on from the launch of the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), new research has found that a majority of companies have been too slow to take tangible action.

Providing private financing initiatives could encourage energy efficiency improvements for households and help the EU achieve its energy-saving target of 20% by 2020.

Could the 'Energy Efficiency Mortgage' solve Europe's green building challenge?

Energy and building sector professionals from across Europe have united to forge a ground-breaking new initiative which offers better borrowing rates on mortgages for homebuyers that commit to purchasing more energy-efficient homes or carrying out energy-saving retrofits within properties.

In order to accelerate action on the SDGs, the report notes that companies will increasingly have to embrace the “age of digitalisation”

'Fruits of the fourth revolution' key for business to tackle struggling SDGs

Leveraging the power of connectivity and digitalisation will be key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the "fruits of the fourth industrial revolution" inspiring large-scale action, a new report has found.

The GAA brings together growers and producers, traders, agri-service providers, agri-tech suppliers, and a variety of other specialists to create a diverse and informed forum

New agri-business alliance formed to help deliver SDGs

A coalition of 36 leading agri-businesses have joined forces to launch the Global Agri-business Alliance (GAA), aiming to tackle environmental and social challenges affecting agricultural supply chains and rural communities worldwide.

Andrex has a key role to play in engaging employees, customers and consumers to take action on the global sanitation crisis

Sharing sustainability success: From selling to showing

Kimberly-Clark's head of sustainability for EMEA Tom Berry explores how some of the world's most intractable development issues, such as increasing access to education and improving sanitation, require effective behaviour change programmes to create real progress.

Electrolux's sustainability strategy aims to inspire better food consumption and cooking habits among consumers and professionals, while maximising sustainable health choices

Electrolux launches global food action plan in support of SDGs

Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux has today (12 September) launched an ambitious and wide-ranging food sustainability action plan to address major global challenges, in support of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

A rise in social responsibility has seen corporate governance and environmental policy form a focal point for companies, and was the area with the highest scores for 2016

Familiar faces: World's most sustainable companies revealed

Unilever, LG and Sodexo have retained positions as industry leaders of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), while the likes of Nestlé and Philips have climbed to the top of the rankings.

Supported by the Sustainable Development Goals, retailers are now able to strengthen their individual CSR policies at a boardroom level

Policies, data and imports: tackling the trilemma of collaboration for Britain's retailers

In the wake of some key waste and resource efficiency issues being brought to light within the UK retail sector, edie's Matt Mace speaks to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) about how to drive collaboration in this highly-competitive market as a means to deliver low-carbon, resource-efficient ways of doing business.