The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

About Sumthing
Published on
February 23, 2024

In the world of sustainability and positive impact, you often stumble upon references to the term SDGs. But what are these colourful circles, and where did they come from? In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of the Sustainable Development Goals. 


In 2015, world leaders came together in Rio de Janeiro with the aim to find peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. This gathering led to the establishment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a comprehensive set of 17 interconnected goals, intended as a universal blueprint to achieve a more sustainable and equitable future for all by the year 2030. These goals are our collective call to action, pushing us to elevate our game in the arena of global progress.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these goals. Every goal has a specific set of targets and indicators, via which progress is being tracked and reported on a yearly base. If you’re looking to dive deeper and see how we are doing, take a look at the SDG website of the United Nations. 

1. No Poverty: 

Eradicate poverty in all its forms, everywhere. This goal aims to ensure that everyone has the resources and support they need to live a life of dignity, including access to basic services, social protection measures, and support for communities affected by conflicts and natural disasters.

2. Zero Hunger: 

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. It emphasises the need for universal access to nutritious and sufficient food all year round, sustainable food production systems, and resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production.

3. Good Health and Well-being: 

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This includes reducing maternal mortality, ending preventable deaths of children under 5, fighting epidemics such as AIDS and malaria, ensuring universal health coverage, and access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all.

4. Quality Education: 

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Focuses on free primary and secondary education, equal access to affordable vocational training, the elimination of gender and wealth disparities, and access to quality higher education.

5. Gender Equality: 

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. This goal targets ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls, eliminating violent practices like child marriage and genital mutilation, ensuring women’s full participation in leadership and decision-making, and providing universal access to reproductive health and rights.

6. Clean Water and Sanitation: 

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Key aspects include safe and affordable drinking water, adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, and improving water quality by reducing pollution and minimising the release of hazardous chemicals.

7. Affordable and Clean Energy: 

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. This involves increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, improving energy efficiency, and enhancing international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology.

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: 

Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. It focuses on achieving higher levels of economic productivity, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation, and eradicating forced labour, slavery, and human trafficking.

9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: 

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. This goal emphasises the development of quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and increasing research and development.

10. Reduced Inequalities:

Reduce inequality within and among countries. Measures include improving the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions, encouraging development assistance and investment in regions most in need, and ensuring equal opportunity through the elimination of discriminatory laws, policies, and practices.

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities: 

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Key areas include affordable and sustainable urban housing, comprehensive urban planning and management, reducing the environmental impact of cities, and providing access to safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems.

12. Responsible Consumption and Production: 

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. This goal aims to promote resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs, and a better quality of life for all.

13. Climate Action: 

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. It underscores the need to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, integrate climate change measures into policies and planning, and improve education and awareness on climate change mitigation.

14. Life Below Water: 

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. This includes preventing and significantly reducing marine pollution, protecting and restoring ecosystems, regulating fishing, and ending overfishing to restore fish stocks in the shortest time possible.

15. Life on Land: 

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, manage forests sustainably, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Actions include conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems, sustainable management of forests, combating desertification, and halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss.

16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: 

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. This encompasses reducing all forms of violence, working with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity, ensuring equal access to justice, and protecting fundamental freedoms.

17. Partnerships for the Goals: 

Recognising that achieving these ambitious goals requires global partnership and cooperation, this goal calls for revitalised and strengthened collaborations across nations and sectors. At Sumthing, we are committed to building these partnerships, with businesses and individuals aiming to contribute to building a sustainable future for our planet. 

What's next?

In essence, the SDGs are our collective roadmap to a more sustainable, fair, and inclusive world. Every action, no matter how small, contributes to a larger impact, it is the Sum of Things that counts. Let's Do Sumthing, not just for the planet, but also for its people and our shared future!

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