In today’s unstable social situation, such as frequent natural disasters, conflicts between nations, and the spread of infectious diseases, there are probably many people who are strongly aware of the importance of the SDGs. In this article, we will start with the basics of “What are the SDGs?”
Table of contents
- What are the SDGs? Explanation of meaning and background
- Effects obtained by SDGs initiatives
- Take advantage of the SDG Compass
What are the SDGs? Explanation of meaning and background
The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are international development goals that were unanimously agreed upon by the leaders of each country at the United Nations Conference held in Paris in 2015. The purpose of the SDGs is to solve all the environmental, political, and economic problems facing the world by 2030, and to pass human society on to future generations in a sustainable manner. The SDGs set the following 17 goals.
- End poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and well-being for all
- Quality education for all
- Let’s achieve gender equality
- Bringing safe toilets and water to the world
- Affordable and clean energy
- Job satisfaction and economic growth
- Build a foundation for industry and innovation
- End inequality between people and countries
- Responsibility to make, Responsibility to use
- Take concrete action against climate change
- Protect the richness of the sea
- Let’s protect the richness of the land
- peace and justice for all
- Achieve your goals with partnerships
These goals are interrelated and the achievement of one goal influences the achievement of others. For example, achieving 1. no poverty is related to aiming for 2. zero hunger.
In addition, the development of clean energy is important for responding to climate change risks. Also, the realization of a peaceful and just society will lead to the elimination of all inequalities and contribute to the prosperity of all people. In any case, the goals of the SDGs are all aimed at improving the lives of humankind on earth in the future.
SDGs initiatives in Japan
The SDGs are said to be issues that all countries, organizations, and individuals should tackle, and the Japanese government and domestic companies are also participating in these efforts. For example, the Japanese government is currently strongly promoting the realization of a decarbonized society, including the promotion of carbon neutrality.
“The Suga administration has set a virtuous cycle between the economy and the environment as a pillar of its growth strategy and will put maximum effort into realizing a green society. We hereby declare that we aim to realize a carbon-neutral, decarbonized society by 2050. Dealing with
global warming is no longer a constraint on economic growth. , bring about changes in industrial structures and socio-economy, and change the way of thinking that leads to great growth.”
Here, former Prime Minister Suga cites specific measures such as the promotion of research and development for next-generation solar cells and carbon recycling, policies such as regulatory reform, the spread of green investment, and the digitization of environment-related fields. These guidelines have been passed on to the current Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida. Prime Minister Kishida announced at COP26 in November 2021, “We aim to reduce greenhouse gases by 46% compared to FY2013 levels by FY2030.”
Of course, in addition to these energy policies, the Japanese government is promoting a wide range of initiatives that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, such as eliminating gender disparities, improving worker employment, and extending healthy life expectancy. In addition, many companies are working on SDGs due to the growing global interest in SDGs and the support of the Japanese government. Among them, the Japanese government has established the “Japan SDGs Award” to honor companies and organizations that are making particularly excellent efforts on the SDGs.
Effects obtained by SDGs initiatives
When people hear the words “work on the SDGs,” they probably think of things like volunteer activities.
However, SDGs initiatives do not simply contribute to society. As he emphasized in the aforementioned policy speech, “Proactively implementing measures to combat global warming will bring about changes in the industrial structure and the economy and society, leading to significant growth.” It is not something that imposes a heavy burden or contribution, but rather it can help them grow and solve their problems. Here, we will introduce its specific effects.
Possibility of market expansion and job creation
SDGs activities are expected to expand opportunities for market expansion and job creation. The SDGs are already functioning as a huge business market, centered on the energy industry, so developing technologies and services that contribute to the SDGs may have a positive impact on the expansion of your new business. . Also, in the process of working on the SDGs, connections will be created with companies, local governments, government agencies, etc. with which we have never had a relationship, and these may bring business opportunities.
Investors also tend to emphasize the SDGs, so we can expect to improve cash flow by promoting SDGs initiatives and disseminating those activities to society. Benefits can be expected, even if they are internal efforts, such as correcting the male-female ratio in the company’s management positions and improving the working environment for employees. This is because building an environment that is easy for employees to work in contributes to “8. Decent work and economic growth,” and at the same time has the effect of reducing the turnover rate and making it easier to attract talented human resources.
Improve brand image
One of the effects of the SDGs on companies is the improvement of their brand image. With abnormal weather, natural disasters, the spread of infectious diseases, conflicts between nations, etc., today’s society is entering an era of great uncertainty and uncertainty. Under these circumstances, it can be said that the question “What is a sustainable society?” is a concern shared by many people.
As social interest in SDGs is growing in this way, companies that actively engage in SDGs tend to be highly evaluated by the public as excellent companies that fulfill their social responsibilities. Corporate activities, products, and services that take into consideration the SDGs will become added value as they are. In other words, SDGs initiatives will also function as a corporate brand strategy.
Take advantage of the SDG Compass
To effectively promote SDGs initiatives, it is recommended to use the “SDG Compass”. The SDG Compass was formulated by three organizations: GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development), and the United Nations Global Compact. It’s a kind of framework. According to the “SDGs Corporate Action Guidelines / SDG Compass” by the above three organizations, this framework consists of the following five steps.
- Understanding the SDGs
- Determine priorities
- Set a goal
- Integrate into management
- Report and communicate
By following these steps and keeping pace with your company’s business activities and SDGs activities, you can promote the growth of your company’s business while contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.
The SDGs are international goals that aim to sustain a prosperous and healthy human society. Companies can obtain new business opportunities, expand sales channels, and grow by working on the SDGs in connection with their businesses and business issues. How about incorporating SDGs activities into your business to achieve your goals by 2030?