May 1, 2018 New sustainability portal launched
Textile Exchange’s new Sustainable Development Goals resources channel seek to align and mobilize industry efforts to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change.
Textile Exchange has launched a set of online resources they’re calling the SDG Resources Channel to support the textile industry’s engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, also known as the 2030 Agenda, are a set of 17 brazenly ambitious goals that were adopted by world leaders following a UN summit and which entered into force in 2016. In practice, they set the global sustainable development agenda until 2030, and some examples include:
- Goal 1: No Poverty. “End poverty in all its forms everywhere.”
- Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.”
- Goal 13: Climate action. “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy.”
The 2030 Agenda follows the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agenda and its 8 goals, many of which were not achieved. Yet many targets were only narrowly missed, and the UN has hailed the initiative as the “most successful anti-poverty movement in history.”
What does this have to do with industry?
As with the MDGs, the 2030 Agenda is a non-binding agreement between countries where governments are expected to establish national frameworks for achieving the agenda’s goals. A key point of departure between the MDG’s and the new SDG’s, however, is that the latter explicitly calls upon businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to help solve sustainable development challenges, considering their help as crucial to carrying the goals over the finish line.
What would this require a company to do?
The resources found on Textile Exchange’s website can assist the 2030 Agenda onboarding process of any company, big or small. Basically, it involves prioritizing where a business’ greatest risks of negative impact lie in relation to the 17 goals, acting to mitigate these impacts accordingly, and finally learning, sharing, and reintegrating lessons learned into its continued efforts.
While this does require a bit of work on the part of the company, it isn’t seen as charity: business opportunity and SDG are said to go hand in hand. Aligning business practices with the SDGs, for example, makes for good business in the sense that it enables them to capitalize on a variety of benefits, including identifying future business opportunities, strengthening stakeholder relations and keeping abreast with policy developments to name a few. And at the end of the day, businesses cannot thrive unless both people and the planet are thriving.
Image: United Nations