Sustainable Development Goals: Why Should You Care?

By Rachel Adrian


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed through the United Nations in September of 2015 as a means to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets lined out with an ultimate goal of completion by 2030. A year has already passed and the goals are gaining momentum. But what are they all about? Why should you care? What will be needed to reach the monumental targets set out for us all?The goals build on the successes – and critical learning – from the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs call on all countries, developed and developing AND recognize the importance of collaborative approaches in addressing the monumental social and environmental issues of our time.

What are The Goals?

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, each with a broad, universal focus. From #1: Ending Poverty to #14: Protecting Life Below Water, the goals have a very wide breadth and each of us can find something to identify with. See the full list of the goals here.The goals are non-legally binding, but countries, companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals are encouraged to develop frameworks for achieving them. The United Nations cannot force countries to participate, but the nature of these goals should inspire everyone to get involved for the betterment of all people. The United Nations has recognized that in order to achieve these goals, a global partnership that supports national implementation of the goals will be required. This is reflected in Goal #17: Partnerships. Partnerships will be critical to SDG success.

Where Are They Now?

The goals are gaining momentum around the world and in the business, non-profit and government sectors. Over 2200 incredible partnerships for the goals have already been registered on the online SDG partnerships platform. Awareness of the SDGs is growing and momentum is building as more organizations from all sectors get involved.


How Can You Get Involved?

Even taking small actions can make a big difference in terms of achieving these goals. Here is a list of actions you can take to help spur meaningful conversations, policy change and inspire collaboration. Building awareness and a conversation in these early years will be essential to the ultimate success of the goals.The major opportunity to make a meaningful impact is to form partnerships that address the goals. Partnership allows each organization to play to their strengths, making each of them more efficient. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are hard work and require strong commitment and accountability from all partners. The power of partnerships will be critical to the success of these goals.

This is the first blog in a series of three about the sustainable development goals. As they are published, we will link the other blogs here. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates about our latest blogs.