SDGs Building on Global Successes in Sustainability

SDGs Building on Global Successes in Sustainability
October 4, 2017 Bradley Cox

As part of our annual review of the Green Globe Sustainability Standard, we are pleased to join an international movement to align with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG).

The SDG contained 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. These included ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests. The info-graphic above gives a quick overview of the each of these ambitious goals.

Green Globe has specifically chosen to align with the SDG because of their linkage to Agenda 21, the set of sustainability targets on which Green Globe was developed in 1992. It is now 25 years since the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de Janeiro and the first agenda for Environment and Development, known as Agenda 21, was developed and adopted. The attendance of Green Globe founders at that ground breaking summit, brought about the first commitment by the travel & tourism industry to work toward a better planet.

Looking in more detail at the targets and indicators set forth in the SGD’s 17 goals, it is clear the United Nations is perusing outcomes, that by 2030, will have profound impacts on lifting the poorest, least educated and malnourished out of their dire circumstances into a more equitable and responsible world. The planet itself is also now the focus of greater care and preservation.

The challenge for Green Globe and its membership is how to translated these targets into indicators or actions that travel & tourism businesses can deliver on. Within their enterprises there is opportunity thorough labor contracting, employee training, social engagement and other activities to  contribute to meeting the SDG goals. However beyond businesses’ ability to organise work practices and employee conditions, business will also be asked to bring a greater voice to their communities, acting as exemplars of how sustainable development can be achieve with actions and other noble deeds. It will then be the responsibility of civic leaders to learn from and reward our members for their contributions and take leadership on rolling out these measures to areas of society that our membership cannot reach.

The challenges ahead are as great as ever. Our first job is to modify and set down a renewed set of indicators with the Green Globe Sustainability Standard that are practical and attainable by our membership. From there, working with our international partners, we must begin transforming and building on the good work already being completed by members to provide greater benefits to all.

While some inside and outside our industry may be skeptical as whether individual travel & tourism businesses can make a difference, we at Green Globe know from our 25 years experience that meeting the SDG 2030 targets can be done within our sector and the destinations where our membership works and propers. Reviewing the best practices of our members over recent times, clearly shows a plethora of initiatives that not only transform peoples’ lives in the work place, but have inspired whole communities to embrace greater social and environmental responsibility.