SDGs, Sustainability, Sustainability Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #12.
SWR supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. The SDGs call for worldwide action among governments, business and civil society to end poverty and create a life of dignity and opportunity for all, within the boundaries of the planet.”

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

  • Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
  • By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
  • By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
  • Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
  • By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
  • Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production
  • Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
  • Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities

UPS, Dupont, and Ericsson report on SDG 12 in their sustainability reports.

UPS addresses SDG 12 with its policies that require customers to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding packages for shipment with UPS.

UPS - SDG - 12. UPS requires that package contents comply with all applicable regulations.

Dupont supports SDG 12 by developing enzymes that increase the shelf life of food and providing education that demonstrates the reuse of packaging into useful objects.

Dupont's Virtuous Cycle Project

 

Ericsson takes back products in an effort to process e-waste in an environmentally responsible manner.

SDG 13 will be discussed in my next blog post.

 

 

SDGs, Sustainability Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11
SWR supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. The SDGs call for worldwide action among governments, business and civil society to end poverty and create a life of dignity and opportunity for all, within the boundaries of the planet.”

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable

  • By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
  • By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
  • By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

 

Companies that include SDG 11 in their sustainability reports are Novartis, Ikea, and Ericsson.

Based in Switzerland Novartis is a global healthcare company with approximately 120,000 employees. Novartis aligns its disclosure SDG 11 with the Global Reporting Initiative G4 indicator EC7 Development and impact of infrastructure investments and services supported. Their involvement with SDG 11 includes contributing to the advancement of local healthcare infrastructure in emerging countries.

 

 

Ikea, a multinational company headquartered in the Netherlands, designs and sells furniture in over 400 retail stores across 49 countries. Its alignment with SDG 11 is represented by its research on future homes and communities to enable its customers and co-workers to live a more sustainable life.

 

Ericsson is a Swedish multinational company specializing in networking and telecommunications that has approximately 110,000 employees across 180 countries. The company has reported its alignment with SDG 11 by the connection of city buses to a mobile broadband network.

Stay tuned for SDG 12!

SDGs, Sustainability, Sustainability Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 09
SWR supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030 and seek to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals and targets. The SDGs call for worldwide action among governments, business and civil society to end poverty and create a life of dignity and opportunity for all, within the boundaries of the planet.”

Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

  • Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
  • By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
  • Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 18
  • Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities
  • Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

Two companies that report on SDG 9 in their sustainability reports are Praxair and Volvo Group.

Praxair Inc., an American Fortune 300 company, produces industrial gases. In 2016, its sales totaled $10.5 million with close to 26,500 employees. It has over 1 million customers in over 50 countries.

In support of SDG 9, Praxair produces gases that are used for drinking water, wastewater, process water, and food processing.

 

Volvo Group, a Swedish multinational company, is one of the leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The company reports that it addresses SDG 9 by producing the largest bus chassis for a bus that can carry 300 passengers.

Volvo Group meets one of the SDG 9 targets by providing vocational training in African countries.

Stay tuned for SDG 10!

 

 

Metropolis at night.
Cities, Cities and sustainability reporting, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Integrated Reporting, Integrated Reporting, Sustainability, Sustainability Reporting

GRI Standards for Cities

City sustainability reporting would be improved if cities used the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards.

GRI Logo, 2015

The GRI framework is used by 74% of the 250 largest corporations. So what does this have to do with cities? As the most widely used framework, it is known by a variety of investors, governments, and NGOs. Many of the same investors, governments, and NGOs are scrutinizing city reports. If the city reports were prepared with a widely used standard, the reports would likely be better understood and more usable for decision making.

Cities have economic, environmental, and social impacts that should be measured in a systematic approach in order to be managed. The GRI Standards provide such an approach and encompass the triple-bottom-line by focusing on an organization’s economic, environmental, and social dimensions. All three are necessary to measure a city’s progress toward sustainable development. The GRI Standards state that organizations need to report only what is important to that city and to be transparent about its determination process.

What are some of the benefits? They are adaptable because they can be applied to any organization of any size and in any location. Cities can compare their progress from period to period. Does using the GRI framework allow for direct comparisons across cities? No two cities are directly comparable but by using the same standards sharing lessons learned would be easier. Cities can assess their economic, environmental, and social risks in addition to engaging their stakeholders about what impacts are important.

The GRI Standards provide metrics that could be used for input into an integrated report under the International Integrated Reporting Council Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework. The <IR> Framework allows organizations to demonstrate how they create value in the short, medium, and long terms. This is especially relevant for cities as they plan for the long  term. For example, if a city invests in electric buses powered with cheaper renewable energy, this investment creates value for the city in many ways. The city’s assets have increased because it purchased the buses. It now has a fleet of electric buses. Value is created each year because fuel and maintenance costs are reduced. The reduction in carbon emissions improves air quality, which results in the improved health of citizens. As a result, health care costs are reduced.

Health care cost reductions can be quantified and reported by a city. A 2014 study by a team of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), RAND Corp., and the University of Washington, reported that costs saved from reduced health impacts of GHG reduction strategies in the U.S. are estimated to be between $6 and $14 billion annually in 2020. This means the resulting GHG reductions amount to health costs benefits of between $40 and $93 per metric ton of carbon dioxide eliminated.

Take a look at cities that have adopted the GRI framework. The list includes Chicago, Atlanta, Melbourne, Dublin, and Warsaw.

 

Chicago - River Walk and State Street bridge
Cities, Cities and sustainability reporting, ISO 37120, Sustainability Reporting

ISO 37120 – Cities’ Sustainability Reporting Option

There are numerous ways that cities can monitor their sustainability progress. One example is ISO 37120-2014 Sustainable development of communities — Indicators for city services and quality of life. As the first ISO standard for city indicators, it covers the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental, and social. The standard provides 100 indicators that include 17 areas, which are economy, education, energy, environment, finance, fire and emergency, governance, health, recreation, safety, shelter, solid waste, telecommunications, transportation, urban planning, wastewater, and water and sanitation. Cities of any size or location can choose which indicators to report.

What is in it for cities?

By using this set of standardized metrics, cities will see numerous benefits. Benchmarking performance and setting targets are a fundamental place to start. If you want to lower greenhouse gas emissions, you need to know what your emissions are. In addition, better management of city resources can be achieved with sustainability metrics. For example, keeping track of wastewater management initiatives can enable cities to manage more efficiently and effectively both financial and environmental resources. Urban planning can be facilitated by use of these indicators. These metrics can provide information about transportation, recreation, safety, and health to inform a city’s decisions about housing policies. In addition, comparisons with other reporting cities are possible on the World Council on City Data (WCCD) website.

An added benefit is the ability to obtain WCCD Certification. Certification levels depend on the number of indicators reported.

If you are involved with a city, this is worth looking into.

As a member of the Bloomington Commission on Sustainability, I will be working on applying this standard to the City of Bloomington, Indiana in the next several months. Stay tuned as I report about the process.