Our understanding of sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Sustainability has become quite a vague term - it might be something like a checklist, a marketing tool or an attitude. We therefore define it with this blog post for the work of Wasser 3.0 aligned with the Sustainability Goals of the United Nations and as the underlying attitude of our thinking and actions.
What is sustainability?
First of all, some basics. The
term 'sustainability' consists of three dimensions
1) The social,
2) the economic and
3) the ecological dimension.
According to the common definition, solutions and approaches are considered
only when giving equal weight and consideration to all three dimensions and when representing a
long-term, viable and future-oriented perspective
The 17 SDGs
In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform our world. They are also known as the Global Goals and are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They include 169 sub-goals that all UN member states aim to achieve by 2030.
The SDGs are a comprehensive plan to achieve a better future for all: No human being should suffer poverty and hunger. All people should have access to health care, water and education, and all genders should be equal. For prosperity, inequalities should be reduced, decent work for all promoted, renewable energy advanced and better infrastructure created. To protect the earth, we need responsible consumption, sustainable urban development, climate protection, and protection of life in water and on land. The peaceful coexistence in the world is only possible with more justice and governments that are committed to it.
How and which contributions we make to the SDGs with Wasser 3.0 is described on our sustainability page.
The 5 P's of the SDGs and a core message:Leave no one behind
The goal of the SDGs is to create a global transformation according to the
motto "Leave no one behind"
. This means the world's poorest and most disadvantaged people must always be included. The SDGs do not distinguish between developed and developing countries, they apply to all.
Protect the Planet.
Prosperity for all.
The economic dimension of the SDGs
The impact of sustainability on short-term decisions (e.g., shopping) suggests that sustainable products and services represent a significant economic opportunity. A 2017 report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission indicated that achieving the SDGs would open up US$12 trillion in economic market opportunities.
A 2018 report published by the World Economic and Climate Commission concluded that climate action could generate US$26 trillion in economic benefits by 2030.
We would like to take this opportunity to introduce a venture that aims to accelerate progress on the SDGs: Catalyst 2030 is a growing collective of social innovators from diverse sectors that already represents most of the world's countries and to which we also belong.
Through meaningful partnerships across regions, sectors, and causes, Catalyst 2030 has the dual goal of both changing the ecosystem and catalyzing collaborations that are supported by the solid foundation of the movement and focused on impact.
Responsibility lies with all of us
The SDGs are a very helpful orientation framework for how causes and effects are interwoven globally and locally and what tasks humanity has to fulfill towards achieving them. Governments, companies, organizations, institutions and each individual are challenged to question and, if necessary, realign their actions.
However, many people have little or no awareness of the SDGs. Their average level of awareness is about 50% overall according to a study by Global Survey (global: 49.7%, EU: 56.5%, Germany: 46.1%). This is a shame and offers a lot of potential as each of us could contribute significantly to the achievement of the SDGs in their daily life.
For those who want to take action, the SDG Portal, for example, provides information and indicators for mapping the implementation of goals or sub-goals at the municipal level in Germany.
There is a lot to do. Through our understanding of sustainability, we act in networks, in dialogue and above all always with the 5 P's in focus. For more impact for waters without microplastics and micropollutants - worldwide.