The SDGs: Important & Relevant in the UK

In 2015 Governments across the world signed up to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 in total covering people, planet & prosperity. If The Global Goals are to have a chance of succeeding, certainly within the timetable of 2030, we all need to contribute – governments, businesses, individuals.

Those that are of particular interest to me are obviously the environmental ones, e.g. 13 Climate Action or 12 Responsible Consumption. But actually they are all interlinked in some way, with activities in one area trickling down / along & having a positive effect elsewhere.

We need to understand that the SDGs are not just about the richer countries simply funnelling money to the less developed ones. These goals apply a key equally to us.

Here are some stats put together by UKSSD showing the situation in the UK.

SDG 1 No Poverty   –   16.8% of people in the UK live in poverty

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption & Production  –  ~15 million tonnes of food & drink are wasted in the food chain in the UK

SDG 7 Affordable & Clean Energy  –  The UK is set to miss the target of 15% of our energy coming from renewable sources by 2020

SDG 4 Quality Education  –  47% of young people in the UK fail to achieve 5 GCSEs

SDG 13 Climate Action  –  7,000 UK homes & buildings, worth well over £1bn, could be lost to rising seas over next 100 years & 800 within 20 years, not to mention the thousands built on flood plains

SDG 8 Decent Work & Economic Growth  –  17.5% of young people in the North East are not in employment, education or training, compared to 10.9% in the South East

SDG 3 Good Health & Well-Being  –  There are ~40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK from air pollution

SDG 10 Reduced Equalities  –  21% of people in the UK live on less than 50% of the average income

SDG 14 Life Below Water  –  The UK is responsible for 7.7% of Europe’s plastic consumption, much of the floating plastic from the UK ends up in the Arctic

SDG 2 Zero Hunger  –  3 million people in the UK are under-nourished, 1.3 million of these are elderly

SDG 5 Gender Equality  –  19% of women aged 16-59 in the UK have been victims of sexual assault in their lifetime

SDG 15 Life on Land  –  Over 20% of habitats of European importance & over 10% of species, are in unfavourable and declining condition in the UK

SDG 6 Clean Water & Sanitation  –  Of 24 water authorities, 9 are reported as having serious stress levels, and 14 moderate

SDG 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities  –  20% of homes in the UK failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard

Want to get more involved? A great place to start is with your own business – committing to tackling the SDGs in your business will show leadership, give positive contributions to society & benefit your company as well. Ask me how.




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