How These 5 Key Industries Can Advance Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations laid out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at transforming the world for a better future for humanity and the planet. The goals were designed to reduce inequality, accelerate economic growth, protect the environment, end global poverty and hunger as well as advance education and health. It is clear that the world needs a change for the better, which requires concrete steps from everyone around the globe to achieve. How can industries take action? We look at some of the ways these five industries can advance SDGs to make a positive impact on the planet and human life while remaining profitable and achieving business growth.

Packaged Goods: Food and Beverage 

  • Ensure food security by facilitating safe, affordable and nutritious food
  • Implement practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain
  • Adopt regenerative and sustainable agriculture practices
  • Minimize the use of agrochemical in agriculture – Sustainable winery practices in this regard include using vineyard animals and birds for pest management
  • Keep food wastage at a minimum at every stage of the supply chain
  • Adopt sustainable packaging by limiting plastic use and turning to alternatives such as biodegradable materials
  • Produce food and beverages products that contribute to sustainable and healthy diets
  • Ensure honest and responsible labeling and marketing practices that enable consumers to make more informed choices
  • Ensure sustainable food sourcing such as opting for locally and/or organically grown
  • Ensure plants efficiency to reduce water and energy use

Fashion Clothing

  • Use natural and recycled materials in production – A good example is vegan boots that are made from recycled car tyres, recycled PET from plastic bottles, natural cork, pineapple leaf fiber and recycled thermoplastic
  • Reduce production by adopting a circular fashion economy and encouraging consumers to invest in durable products
  • Minimize waste by reusing and recycling cut-offs and adopting innovative production technology such as stone washing without bleach, single-thread technology and laser cutting
  • Implement practices to conserve water – For instance, using organically grown cotton to produce garments uses less water as compared to basic cotton
  • Adapt sustainable packaging
  • Reduce fossil fuel carbon print by conserving energy or switching to renewable energy. Adopting technology such as virtual dressing minimizes return rates, which reduces carbon footprint associated with shipping

Construction

  • Ensure clean water and sanitation by incorporating waste water reclaim technology such as dual piping or greywater reclamation in new construction projects to recycle water from the industrial and residential buildings for use in flushing, irrigation, and industrial processes
  • Bring clean and affordable energy by installing renewable energy sources such as solar energy and reducing energy consumption with smart home technology such as smart lighting and HVAC systems
  • Achieve sustainable cities and communities by delivering healthy buildings that focus on good air quality. Green building that ensures efficient energy and water use, secure buildings that can withstand severe weather conditions as well as green areas make cities sustainable
  • Reduce material wastage during construction by recycling and enhancing the management of the materials
  • Ensure that new construction projects provide decent and inclusive work opportunities for all
  • Use sustainable construction materials and construction technologies

 Transportation 

  • Improve infrastructure and road safety as well as enhance vehicle and trains maintenance to reduce injuries and loss of life
  • Use natural refrigerants for transportation of products that require refrigeration
  • Switch to renewable energy such as biofuels to power transportation vessels
  • Adopt innovative solutions such as pooled freighting services to reduce cost and gas emissions
  • Increase public transportation in the urban as well as underserved areas
  • Improve electric vehicle infrastructure to encourage the use
  • Integrate cycling traffic to promote bike-friendly communities

Tourism

  • Advice guests to support local communities through buying locally produced products and visiting local social projects
  • Support elimination of poverty and equality by giving jobs to the locals
  • Avoid excursions that have negative impacts on natural resources to support life on water and land
  • Implement programs that teach communities about good health and quality education
  • Launch sustainability initiatives that promote sustainable tourism, such as wastebaskets around tourist sites and cities
  • Use technology to measure ecological footprint in popular destinations so that travelers can make informed decisions
  • Conduct cultural tours to promote interculturalism to support peace and justice goal

 Conclusion

Living sustainably is no longer an option, it is something that businesses across different industries should adhere to in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The good thing is that the SDGs create an opportunity for all industries to play their part. If you are in the tourism, transportation, food and beverage, fashion or construction industries, consider implementing the above suggestions.

Author: Bella Clarks

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