We live in a world that loves acronyms. Whilst some are pretty commonplace, like TBC or EOD, there are some that are not as widely known: like LOL (the classic Boomer / Millennial divide between ‘laugh out loud’ and ‘lots of love’) and SDG (sustainable development goals). Whilst we're not here to unpack modern day literature, we can lend a helping hand to better understand Sustainable Development Goals – and what they mean to Homethings.
Let’s begin with a definition. The Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) are 17 global goals that were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly with the idea that they needed to be achieved by the year 2030. The aim of these SDGs was to act as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” and is based on the idea that governments, businesses, NGOs and citizens alike should all be singing from the same hymn sheet in what we are trying to achieve. Collectively, we have a far greater impact than we do individually – and also, isn’t it nice to be part of a team that’s focussed on doing something good? You may even have seen sustainable businesses mention that they are focussed on a particular SDG and here at Homethings, that magic number is 12.
Goal 12 is to “ensure sustainable consumption and production”. In a time where the world continues to use natural resources unsustainably, at an alarming rate and with a detrimental impact on the planet, we have focussed on SDG12 as one of the core foundations of our business. If we dive a little deeper, you’ll notice that 12.5 mentions reducing “waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse”. Our business model has been created with the circular economy idea that we need to design out waste, moving away from the linear single-use format and replacing this with something more sustainable and efficient: in our eyes, refillable cleaning products that can be used again and again and again.
That’s all great, but why do they matter? Focussing back on specifically SDG12, if the “global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, almost 3 planets will be required to sustain current lifestyles.” Now that is truly bonkers. In the event that we aren’t able to jump ship to Saturn and Uranus (your joke, not ours) in the next 29 years, it feels pretty pressing that we all, as global stakeholders, do our bit and work together to ensure the planet survives and thrives. And that means doing things differently.
We don’t need to insert a still from Blue Planet to remind you that we are in the midst of a Climate Crisis and drowning in plastic pollution. Too many big players have sat back and watched as their unsustainable practices dominate industries and wreak havoc on the environment around them. The average household uses 25 plastic cleaning bottles per year. There are approximately 27 million households in the UK. We’re not mathematicians over here, but that’s a lot of plastic. We might not save the world single handedly but as Tesco like to consistently remind you: every little helps.
Hungry for more information about the Sustainable Development Goals or want to see how many of the 17 SDGs you can memorise? Check out our podcast on exactly that with the awesome Amy from Sustainable & Social.