Are you aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals? (SDG’S)

Every action has an effect. The more conscious we are about the spectrum of effects we cause with our action, the more we can gear them towards the common goal: to leave the planet and all it’s inhabitants in a healthier state then when we have found it.
The SDG’s help us to align with this greater view.

Why the SDGs are important and relevant for the textile industry?

The textile and apparel industry carry a huge potential to contribute to the SDG‘s. Ecological and social challenges are a day to day topic for the players in this industry, in addition to animal welfare issues, an approach to biodiversity, and financial risks.

GRV at ISPO 2020

At this ISPO edition 2020 we would like to show in which areas our partners are already contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Brands, suppliers and retailers can learn about who is supporting which goals and ideally find collaborations in order to create a more positive impact for all.

This engagement will continue over next years and will provide a greater framework for orientation within the vast playing field of sustainable action.

About the SDG’s

At the turn of the millennium, the United Nations gathered to discuss what they would like the state of the world to look like in 2015. After deliberation they presented the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). These goals were: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, establish global partnership for development. While these goals have not been fully realized, they provided a basis and inspiration for global collaboration toward working for a better future.

Once the MDG’s expired in 2015, heads of state, UN officials, and civil society representatives once again convened—this time during the 70thsession of the United Nations General Assembly—to create a global plan for the next 15 years. The outcome of the meeting was the publication of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S). They are as follows:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Currently, extreme poverty is measured as living on less than $1.25 dollars a day. More than 700 million people, or approximately 10% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty. Key elements to this issue have been identified as lack of social protection, unemployment, conflict, and vulnerability to climate related disasters, diseases, and issues undermining productivity.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

When managed correctly, forestry, agriculture and fisheries have the potential to provide nutritious food for the entire world’s population, provide work, support rural communities, all while protecting the environment. Increased environmental degradation is making land less productive and forcing migration into ever-more crowded urban areas. Methods to counteract this issue have been outlined as: doubling agricultural productivity of small-scale food producers, implementing sustainable and resilient food production systems, maintain genetic diversity of food sources, and increase investment in rural infrastructure and agricultural industries as a whole.

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

There has been a tremendous improvement in health over the last few years, with a substantial decrease in deaths of children under 5 years old (9.8 million in 2000 vs 5.4 million in 2017), maternal mortality has fallen 37% since 2000, and measles vaccines have averted nearly 15.6 million deaths since the same year. While many global health trends have increased, there is an un-proportionate amount of health issues in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. Between 2016 and 2017 the number of malaria cases in the 10 highest burden African countries increased about by about 3.5 million. With improvements in the fields of funding for health systems, sanitation and hygiene, access to physicians, and reduction in ambient pollution real change can be made and countless lives can be saved.

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Many of the world’s greatest problems, including those addressed in the SDG’s can be partially, or wholly, mitigated with a quality education. By 2030 the goal is to ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education. Currently 91% of children in developing country have enrolled in primary school, however there is still rampant inequality of access to education based on gender in some regions—27% more girls than boys of primary school age do not attend school in central Asia. Additionally, quality of education and of schools is extremely lacking in many cases. The base necessity for improvement in this sector is increased investment. Investment in teacher training, school facilities, and community outreach can go a long way to realize the goals set forth by the UN.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

As awareness concerning the topic has grown in the past few years, discrimination and inequality between genders is slowly decreasing. However, it is still a far cry from total equality. All around the world women and girls experience violence toward them and in many cases are offered no legal protection against it. 49 countries have no laws protecting women from domestic violence and 1 in 5 women between the ages of 15-49 have experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months. By 2030, the UN has established the goals to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls, eliminate early or forced marriage, eliminate female genital mutilation, and eliminate all violence against women and girls such as sexual violence or other forms of exploitation.

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation

Water is a basic necessity for life, yet 2 billion people live with the risk of reduced access to fresh water and half of the world’s population suffers from severe water scarcity at least one month a year. The issue of access to clean water affects multiple other global issues. Poor water quality or scarcity is detrimental to health, negatively impacts education opportunities and food security. Women and girls are responsible to collect water in 80% of households without on-site water access, often impacting their opportunities for work or education. Seeing as there is enough fresh water in the world for everyone—albeit that it is not naturally equally distributed across the globe—proper management and practices can help us realize the goals of ensuring universal access to safe water for drinking and hygiene, while implementing methods to reduce water pollution and contamination.

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern technology for all

Energy is necessary for almost all tasks in today’s world, from food production to increasing incomes. Access to an energy supply is not enough, it must also be modern and sustainable. 3 billion people do not have access to clean cooking fuels which exposes them to dangerous levels of pollution and results in 4 million premature deaths each year. Universal access to efficient energy, with a focus on renewable energies will sustainably improve economies and spur the growth and development of inclusive and healthy communities with access to modern opportunities.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

About half of the world’s population lives on the equivalent of $2 USD per day. Unfortunately, unemployment is not the only contributor to this statistic, in many places, having a job does not ensure an escape from poverty. Economic growth is an essential factor for the success of democracy. Unequal working opportunities, insufficient investments, and under-consumption—all leeches of economic growth—contribute to increased inequality and the undermining of democratic societies. In an effort to combat this issue, the UN suggested striving to achieve a 7% GDP increase per year, invest in long-term sustainable practices and economy-supporting technologies and systems. Creating a fair and progressive society will pave the way for economic growth and productive employment.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

3 billion people lack access to basic sanitation; simple infrastructure like roads, power, and water are still lacking in many less developed countries. Reduced internet capabilities and inadequate infrastructure is detrimental to sustaining a good quality of life and dramatically hurts economic growth. The SDG promotes sustainable industrialisation in order to present to residents of LDC’s increased opportunities, both economically and socially.

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Equality is the basic groundwork and goal of democracy. As this issue is predominantly influenced by national culture, history, and political systems, it is a difficult one to tackle. However, by 2030, the UN hopes that through less aggressive international trading policies, abolishment of discriminatory laws, regulation of large industry businesses, and empowering people to achieve their political, social or economic goals regardless of age race or gender, global inequality will be largely reduced.

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

The world is becoming increasingly urban.  By 2030, it is estimated that 5 billion people will be living in cities.  The current state of urban living is, in many cases, dangerous and harmful to progression. 9 out of 10 people living in cities breathe polluted air, 1 out of 4 urban residents live in slums, and only half of urban dwellers have reasonable access to public transport.  Additionally, cities themselves are a huge drain on resources and the surrounding areas. The UN has identified the minimum requirement for a decent quality of life for urban residents as having access to waste removal systems, transportation, decent housing and energy services.  Not much is stated addressing the inherent system of consumption upon which cities are founded—a serious obstruction to creating a more sustainable world.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

humanity’s current consumer trends are exhausting the earth’s natural resources. Fresh water is being polluted faster than it can be cleaned through natural cycles, oil is expected to run out by 2050, land degradation and environmental abuse is decreasing possible food production through current means.  SDG 12 calls for developed countries to take the lead in implementing global programs on sustainable consumption and production. The hope is that through education, resource management, increased efficiency throughout supply chains to minimize waste, and technological advancements, the world—by 2030— will “achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources”, half per capita global food waste, and “ensure that people everywhere have relevant information and awareness for sustainable development”.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

The impacts of climate change are thought to be occurring in every country and continent on earth.  Intensifying weather conditions, rising sea-levels, highest ever greenhouse gases are all products or causes of climate change.  In order to battle the phenomenon and its effects, the UN has proposed goals of climate change mitigation through increased awareness and implementation of policies and improving preparedness for climate change related impacts.

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development

Oceans are an indispensable part of this earth.  They provide the main source of protein and livelihood for over three billion people, about half the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean, and they absorb about 30% of carbon emissions—helping to mitigate our effect on climate change.  This SDG presents multiple goals pertaining to protecting the health of the oceans and maintaining/increasing its productivity through raised awareness, proper management of fisheries, substantially reduced pollution, and implementation of policies to lower the ongoing rapid acidification of the oceans.

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

The three greatest threats to terrestrial ecosystems as outlined by the SDG’s are: land degradation, loss of biodiversity, and desertification.  All three of these issues have a great impact on human life; forests mitigate climate change, desertification and degradation decrease land productivity and loss of biodiversity increases the risk of famine–amongst a myriad of other issues.  The goals outlined by this SDG relate to better management and protection of land, protection against aggressive harvesting of flora and fauna, and mobilisation of financial and technological resources to combat these issues.

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Violence—such as homicide, human trafficking, and sexual violence—exists throughout the world, however it occurs more often in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Violence in societies harms quality of life, economic opportunity, and costs countries trillions of dollars each year. In order to combat the different faces of violence, SDG 16 promotes the creation of relevant, transparent judicial institutions to be used in order to establish rule of law and hinder corruption.

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

In order to implement the SDG’s, cooperation between governments, civil societies, and the private sector is necessary.  This SDG establishes terms and outlines necessary investments in the fields of finance, technology, capacity building, trade, and systemic issues.

The power of the SDG’s lie in their ability to unite so many different governments, organizations, treaties and people together to achieve common goals. Entities from UNESCO, to the European Union, to the World Trade Organizations each work on conducting their business and establishing plans based on the 17 development goals.  The emphasis on international collaboration not only helps accomplish the stated pursuits, but also sets a precedent of cooperation, which arms our global community with the support system to deal with future issues which may arise.