The SDG's and lifework
Updated: May 27, 2022
We’ve given much thought to the United Nation’s SDGs over the past few months. Whilst we recognise the benefits of them, we also time and time again see companies discuss them as if they are tangible goals for a company to reach alone. And unfortunately this is not the case.
A lot of them are reliant on countries, governments, businesses and civil society collaborating and working together to achieve them. And so after see-sawing and debating on the idea of using them as a framework, we decided whilst they would not give us tangible goals to reach, they could still help us in some ways. They would help us discuss why we are doing things a certain way – the need for it. What, if governments, businesses and society worked together, could be achieved for the greater good of all. They could also help us with our thinking around sustainable development and maybe present a few more targets that we should be contributing towards that we had not previously considered?
So with all that in mind and we went through all the different elements and operations that form lifework communities. Breaking them down we were able to see which SDG they would relate to, if we went about doing them correctly.
We decided they are as follows…
SDG8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth –
Target 8.3 ‘- Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization of SMES’
How: We believe that co-working spaces help to foster creativity. Members are working side by side to people that they wouldn’t if they were in a typical working space.
SDG9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure –
9.1 - Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
9.4 - Upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of sustainable technologies and industrial processes
How: We are using circular principles to help fit out the barn, using concepts such as renting and repairing to extend product lifetimes.
SDG10 – Reduced Inequalities –
10.2 - Empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all.
How: Remote working policies have been known to help increase inclusivity and equality of certain working groups.
SDG11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
11.6 - Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
11.9 - 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 holistic disaster risk management at all levels
How: Through analysing the environmental impact of lifework, decreasing it where possible and also helping shift behaviour change of individuals to decrease their personal impact.
SDG12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
12.5 - Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.7 - Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable with national policies and priorities
12.8 - Ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
How: Through our own circular behaviours (renting / refurbishment / waste as a resource) but also educating individuals on how to implement more circular and environmentally friendly behaviours into their personal life.
We had also previously referred to SDG3 and SDG17 when discussing the SDGs that lifework work with. However, upon reflection and when going into details on the targets under those SDGs this may not be the case. Although we think we do contribute to ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ and the ‘Partnerships for the Goals’, there are no targets underneath it that we can work towards achieving.
And so there we have laid out what we think we will be contributing towards. These may change as time progresses, either in support of other targets, or if we recognise that maybe we don’t align and contribute as much to a target as hoped. And although we have laid out our targets here, we won’t talk about them much more, just to ensure we don’t ‘bluewash’ – the equivalent to greenwashing but with the SDGs.
You can find out more about the SDGs at the following link https://sdgs.un.org/goals.