If “New Year, New You” is not your thing, let’s look at yearly resolutions in a different way: as goals. Resolutions are a publicly recognized way of listing goals, both short term and long term, for the next year. Most of these goals are personal and self-preservative, but how often are sustainable business resolutions set at the start of each new year? Business goals, on the other hand, are often fiscal- or brand-centric, with focus on growing the size of the business and/or the name. Though solid, fundamental goals, they rarely see a rise in sustainable, developmental practices. Business growth is a wonderful thing, but it can come at a price.
Let’s start the year by setting more sustainable business resolutions. Reduce our carbon footprint. Waste less. Do right by the land, ocean, and air. Create safer environments for all team members. Be responsible for goods consumption. Use cleaner, more affordable energy.
With help from the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Compass, here are some ways we can start — together.
Protecting Life Below Water
The Issue: Human actions are the primary cause of threats on marine life, like pollution and resource depletion.
The Goal: Track the life cycle of products and materials in order to understand how they are disposed and which products could likely find their way into marine environments.
Affordable and Clean Energy
The Issue: Businesses often rely on inexpensive, energy-dense resources that are the primary source of harmful greenhouse gases.
The Goal: Commit to sourcing 100% of operational electricity needs from renewable sources.
Clean Water and Sanitation
The Issue: Though access to clean water is a basic human right, industries are responsible for much of the world’s clean water depletion, and this impact continues to increase year to year.
The Goal: Educate employees about the importance of water efficiency, including tying performance bonuses or operations-based incentives to efficient practices.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
The Issue: Poverty, inequality and discrimination are often related to substandard working conditions.
The Goal: Offer apprenticeship opportunities, and initiate skills development programs moving down company supply chains.