On September 25, 2015, world leaders at the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They have been a 4-year effort of collaborative review, negotiations and public voting to create a common set of goals for all communities to thrive.
We are encouraged to see that the goal of being sustainable is seen as the main aim not just one goal amongst many (as per the SDGs predecessor the Millennium Development Goals). Although the goals are generally framed for government participation, the UN has acknowledged that businesses have a big part to play in achieving the SGDs.
“Businesses today are expected to be part of the solution to our world’s greatest challenges – from climate and water crises, to inequality and poverty – as captured in the Sustainable Development Goals. For companies ready to take on the agenda, the SDGs provide a platform to show responsibility, pursue opportunity and innovation, and inspire other businesses to get on board.”
While our work as sustainable design consultants in the building industry can feed into a number of SDGs, we see our business contributing primarily to Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.(Detailed list of targets)
We have the Urban SDG to thank for lobbying for an explicit goal for cities. It is important for urbanisation to occur sustainably. Infrastructure and buildings have a long term impact on communities. They can either be a drain on resources or be designed to be efficient, inclusive & resilient. This also acknowledges the positive impact on residents that forward-thinking city councils around the world have already achieved.
We seek to continue our work with local councils to encourage efforts towards achieving the goal of sustainable communities.