What are SDGs? What's the difference with DEI? Let's take a look at what SDGs are and how they develop!

Before understanding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we need to talk about why we should care about sustainable development and what is the definition of sustainable development.

According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the factors that lead to global disasters include extreme weather, war, famine and disease, which have an all-round impact on human economy, society and environment, and sustainable development is the path we must embark on.

And what is sustainable development? The widely accepted and widely used definition comes from the 1987 publication of Our Common Future, published by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), and sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs.

In 2000, the United Nations put forward eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the Millennium Conference, hoping to achieve the goals of eradicating hunger and poverty, universal basic education and gender equality by 2015. By the time the MDGs were accepted in 2015, initial progress was found, but many challenges remained.

For example, gender inequality, widening wealth gaps, climate degradation and social risks persist, so the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with wider applicability and more diversity and integration have emerged.

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What are SDGs?

SDGs Chinese is the Sustainable Development Goals, full name in English is Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs extend from the MDGs and combine environmental, social and economic perspectives to examine more diverse development issues around the world.

In 2015, the United Nations High-Level Political Forum promulgated the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which set out 17 core goals and 169 specific targets of the SDGs to guide actors such as governments, businesses and civic groups to create a world of "sustainable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all".

The 17 core goals of the SDGs are listed below (full sub-indicator query for each SDG goal):

  • SDG 1 Poverty eradication: aims to eradicate poverty in all its forms everywhere. It includes detailed indicators such as reducing poverty by at least 50 per cent at all age groups, implementing social security systems, and establishing policy frameworks covering poverty and gender issues.
  • SDG 2 End Hunger: Aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote permaculture. It includes sub-indicators to double the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, maintain genetic diversity in food production, and ensure stable food commodity markets and timely access to information.
  • SDG 3 Health and Well-being: aims to ensure health and promote well-being at all ages. It includes sub-indicators to reduce maternal mortality, reduce mortality from NCDs and promote mental health, and support research, development and universal access to affordable vaccines and medicines.
  • SDG 4 Quality Education: aims to ensure educational, equitable and high-quality education and promote lifelong learning. It includes sub-indicators such as ensuring equal access to quality pre-primary education, eliminating all discrimination in education, and expanding scholarships for higher education in developing countries.
  • SDG 5 Gender Equality: Aims to achieve gender equality and empower women. It includes sub-indicators to end all discrimination against women, eliminate forced marriage and genital mutilation, and promote women's empowerment through technology.
  • SDG 6 Clean water and sanitation: aims to ensure access to water and sanitation and its sustainable management for all. It includes subtle indicators on providing safe and affordable drinking water, ending open defecation and providing sanitation, and protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems.
  • SDG 7 Affordable and sustainable energy: aims to ensure that all people have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. It includes sub-indicators for research, technology and investment to increase the global share of renewable energy and promote access to clean energy.
  • SDG 8 Employment and Economic Growth: aims to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, achieve full and productive employment, and provide good jobs for everyone. It includes sub-indicators to enhance the diversification of economic productivity, innovation and upgrading, work towards full employment and equal pay for work of equal value.
  • SDG 9 Sustainable Industries and Infrastructure: It aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industries, and accelerate innovation. It includes sub-indicators such as developing sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure and supporting universal access to ICTs.
  • SDG 10 Reducing inequality: aims to reduce inequality within and between countries. It includes sub-indicators to reduce income inequality, ensure equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination, encourage development assistance and invest in underdeveloped countries.
  • SDG 11 Sustainable Urban and Rural Areas: Aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It contains sub-indicators to ensure safe and affordable housing, affordable and sustainable transport systems, and provide safe and inclusive green and public spaces.
  • SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production: aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. It includes sub-indicators such as the implementation of the framework of the 10-year plan for sustainable consumption and production, encouraging companies to adopt sustainable practices and sustainable reporting, and developing and implementing tools to monitor sustainable tourism.
  • SDG 13 Climate Action: aims to take urgent measures to combat climate change and its impacts. It includes sub-indicators to strengthen resilience and resilience to climate hazards, implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, promote the establishment of mechanisms, and improve planning and management capacity.
  • SDG 14 Sustainable Oceans and Conservation: aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans and marine resources to ensure sustainable development. It includes subtle indicators such as reducing marine pollution, ending subsidies that contribute to overfishing, and increasing scientific knowledge, research and technology for ocean health.
  • SDG 15 Terrestrial Ecology: aims to protect, maintain and promote the sustainable use of territorial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss. It includes subtle indicators for protecting and restoring terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, promoting access to genetic resources and equitable sharing of benefits.
  • SDG 16 Institutional Justice and Peace: aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development; providing access to justice for all; Build effective, accountable and inclusive systems at all levels. It includes sub-indicators to reduce violence everywhere, combat organized crime and illicit financial and arms flows.
  • SDG 17 Partnership for Sustainable Development: aims to strengthen the approach to sustainable development implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. It includes sub-indicators for mobilizing resources to improve domestic tax revenues, assisting developing countries to achieve debt sustainability, and improving the availability of reliable data.

Photo|United Nations Sustainable Development website

Status of Taiwan's implementation of the SDGs

Government side

The Chinese government has established the National Commission for Sustainable Development of the Executive Yuan, with the Chief Executive as the chairman, and four deputy CEOs promoting the inclusive social work circle, sustainable economy work circle, land resilience work circle and green environment work circle covering the SDGs. In addition, there are two project teams for climate change and net zero transition and non-nuclear home promotion.

The work projects of the National Committee for Sustainable Development of the Executive Yuan also include the release of the national sustainable development annual report, the annual review report and the voluntary review of sustainable development, as well as the holding of the National Sustainable Development Award to commend all units in the society.

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Photo|Official website of the National Commission for Sustainable Development of the Executive Yuan

Enterprise side

In addition to the government as the leader, the SDGs cannot be promoted without companies, and the inclusion of the SDGs in their actions has the following benefits:

  1. Tapping Business Opportunities: According to the 2017 Business and Sustainable Development Commission report, promoting sustainability could generate up to $12 trillion in energy and raw materials, health care, urban development, and food and agriculture.
  2. Enhancing corporate value: Corporate planning SDGs can help build a good image of social welfare and build a relationship of trust, while the SDGs can also guide companies to use resources more effectively through economic incentives.
  3. Creating a stable economic environment: Investing in the SDGs is to create a stable economic environment by creating a successful business environment, such as a regulated market and a transparent financial system.

At present, Taiwan can also see cases of enterprises starting to implement the SDGs, such as CNPC donating daily necessities in Chad mining areas to meet SDG 2 to end hunger; Mitsubishi Electric adopted endangered pangolins from Muzha Zoo through a sponsorship program, in line with SDG 15 terrestrial ecology; The family-friendly food wise mechanism echoes SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production;

Xinyi Housing promotes the application for parental leave regardless of gender, and assists colleagues to return to work before the expiration of the leave without pay period, and strives to achieve SDG 5 gender equality; TSMC's Cultural and Educational Foundation sponsored the Guoguang Theatre Company's School Opera Inheritance Program to nurture potential talents and align with SDG 4 quality education.

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What is the relationship between SDGs and DEI?

The SDGs are the Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations, which contain several indicators related to economy, work, diversity and inclusion. DEI seems novel, but in fact, the goal contains the concept of sustainability.

DEI is closely related to the SDGs, and will directly contribute to the development of 9 SDGs, including Goal 5 "Gender Equality", Goal 8 "Decent Work and Economic Growth", Goal 16 "Peace, Justice and Sound Institutions", and Goal 17 "Diverse Partnerships".

For example, the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples' Right to Work Protection Act in the workplace is in line with SDG 10 to eliminate inequality, and is also part of the diversity and inclusive workplace norms that DEI is committed to promoting. The SDGs establish indicators of sustainable development practices, and DEI further provides guidelines for companies to follow up.

If you also want to create a DEI inclusion circle, women's fans offer course training, digital media coverage, a diversity and inclusion vision award, and a corporate vision meeting. Invite you to practice DEI with us!