What are SDGs? Why you should know about it


Recently in Tokyo, on the building, and on the websites you can see the phrase SDGs, or the colorful blocks of SDGs with its logo. But this is not just in Tokyo, the SDGs phrase and logo is going around everywhere online and offline. It is like the new green word that companies are trying to be a part of, which is great, as it is part of the goals of SDGs. So you must be wondering why do I keep mentioning SDGs, and why do I need to know it.

First of all, to put it simply, SDGs stands for Sustainable Development Goals, which are goals set by the UN in hopes the world as a whole will work together to achieve the sustainable development goals that will help and protect the planet by 2030. These goals were set in hopes of achieving a sustainable planet through solving or slowing down issues such as ocean pollution, climate changing, poverty and so on, global issues.
So with all that being said, let’s take a closer look at SDGs and why you should know about it.

SDGs, the 17 Goals due by 2030

Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs for short, was announced in 2015 by the United Nations. The SDGs consist of 17 global goals to achieve sustainable earth by the year 2030, and these global goals are targeting some of the world’s biggest challenges such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and so on.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve all by 2030.

(United Nations Sustainable Development)

Another important aspect of the SDGs is the idea of leaving no one behind, as earth, human work together and the final goal is that everyone is included and thought for.

SDGs Breakdown: 17 Global Goals

SDGs 1 No Poverty

SDGs number 1 is to end all poverty. That means any kind of poverty anywhere, especially now, because of COVID-19, poverty has been rising, so it is even more important now.

SDGs 2 Zero Hunger

Zero hunger consists of a few different factors, such as ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. Not only is ending hunger important, but to be able to maintain it and get the most out of it is just as important. In addition, promoting sustainable agriculture is helpful not just for ending hunger but also for other SDGs.

SDGs 3 Good Health and Well-Being

Promote healthy lives for everyone and well-being lifestyle for all people at all ages. This includes having vaccinations, having health systems and decreasing the chances of certain diseases such as malaria from spreading and so on.

SDGs 4 Quality Education

Being able to access quality education is very important and it is something everyone should have access to. This SDG is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”(The 17 Goals).

SDGs 5 Gender Equality

Empower all women and girls!! According to many researches and studies, achieving equality for women and girls is good for the overall development and economy. Even with so much research and studies backing up, women and girls are still facing a lot of inequalities on a daily basis. It is important to support women and girls and achieve gender equality as females are a huge part of the earth and no one is left behind.

SDGs 6 Clean Water and Sanitation

Unfortunately, billions of people still don’t have access to clean water and sanitation services. As water is one of the key elements of living, it is important that everyone has access to clean water and sanitation. Having clean water means the people can slow down the spread of disease with proper hand washing habitats and so on.

SDGs 7 Affordable and Clean Energy

“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”(The 17 Goals). With modern and clean energy, not only is it much more affordable and reliable, but it is also better for the earth, so it is definitely a win-win situation.

SDGs 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

With global economic growth slowing down, especially with COVID-19 now, it is important to find ways to maintain a sustainable, inclusive economic growth around the world. Providing full and productive employment for everyone.

SDGs 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

“Inclusive and sustainable industrialization, together with innovation and infrastructure, can unleash dynamic and competitive economic forces that generate employment and income”(The 17 Goals). Which in return helps decrease poverty, and building communities, allowing more opportunities and so on many benefits.

SDGs 10 Reduce Inequalities

Not only is there gender inequalities issues, but overall inequality happens everywhere and in every country. For example income inequality, social inequality, racial inequality, and so on, it is important to achieve equality within countries and among countries.

SDGs 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

While the world is urbanizing rapidly, which is great for the economic, however it causes other issues such as increase of slum dweller, overburdened infrastructure and service, and increase of pollution (The 17 Goals). It is important to achieve sustainable growth, that the environment is taken care of and the people too when growing cities.

SDGs 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

With all the talks about ethical consumptions, I am sure many of you already understand the issue. But it is more than just responsible consuming products and using them, it is also important that makers and manufacturers are also producing responsible, meaning proper sourcing, fair wage, being environmentally conscious, and taking other issues into account.

SDGs 13 Climate Action

With the recent extreme weather, fires, heatwaves, and typhoons, it is important to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact”. There is no way to stop global warming, but what we can do is slow it down and reduce the impacts. In fact, this goal has been around for a while, but this time people are more aware and with the Paris Agreement more action has been done. Not enough but it is definitely getting there.

SDGs 14 Life Below Water

“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”(United Nations Sustainable Development). The water is an important part of the earth, it is part of our rain, drinking water, weather, climate and our food. So it is extra important to take care of the ocean and seas as it is part of everyone’s life.

SDGs 15 Life on Land

Similar to life below water, it is important to maintain and protect the ecosystem on the land too. That includes protect the ecosystems, reduce forestation, protect the animals, combat desertification, reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss (The 17 Goals). Just like the water, the forest is a big part of human’s lives and other animals and it needs to be protected.

SDGs 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institution

With peace, justice, and strong institutions many of the problems such as inequality, poverty, safety of people can be increased. In addition, with many countries in wars or turmoils, and the killing of human rights defenders and journalists, it is hard to achieve a peaceful, sustainable, and free world. This is one of the last two SDGs and quite hard to achieve with so many things going on now. But that doesn’t mean we should stop, we need to work together. Let us all work together and “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.

SDGs 17 Partnerships

Last but not the Partnership SDGs, which aim for strong global partnerships and cooperation. As part of the earth, we all work together globally, regionally, nationally, and locally, with the same shared visions and goals that put the planet first. Especially with the ongoing COVID-19, it is more important that people work together with each other, wear a mask, wash their hands, reduce traveling unless necessary, and so on.

Now You Know the SDGs

Now you know about the SDGs and the 17 global goals, it is your turn to take some of their knowledge and potential and do something for the world. Even though this article only scratches the surface about the SDGs, there are definitely ways you can help and take part in these global goals. Within each SDGs, the goal is broken down more so that it is more reachable. One way you can participate in the SDGs is to learn more about the issues and what events or organizations there are in support and connection to them. Participate in those events and or help out the organizations. Learn more about the issues through the following links; sdgs.un.org. Another way for individual contribution is to start an ethical lifestyle, learn to become responsible consumers, support gender equality organizations or laws, and many more.

Why should you care?

Clean beautiful view of Lake Moraine in Canada
Well, first of all, why shouldn’t you care? We are all part of the earth, even if you are not directly affected by the climate, you will be affected by the economy. All of the SDGs are interconnected and have cause and effect on each other. The SDGs are for the greater good of everyone, you included, so you should definitely be part of it and do it for your own good. In addition, it is easier than you think to be doing something for the SDGs, as mentioned before, you could either support organizations or by taking on an adventure where you tackle the zero waste challenge, be part of the plastic free movement. So maybe next time you see the SDGs logo or phrase, you can be proud of yourself for being part of it and making a difference for yourself and others.

“Take Action for the Sustainable Development Goals – United Nations Sustainable Development.” United Nations. United Nations. Web. 28 Sept. 2020.
“THE 17 GOALS | Department of Economic and Social Affairs.” Web. 28 Sept. 2020.
Author: Monica Chang
Director of Ethical Choice
I am passionate about finding amazing sustainable and eco-friendly products and sharing them with more people. Interesting in plastic-free, reduce waste, and DIY.