You, Me and the SDGs

Elaine Mitchel-Hill, Business and Human Rights Lead at Marshalls plc
Thursday 21st September, 2023

It’s easy to think of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs*) as something that aren’t for us, either as a business or as individuals. That they’re just too big to accomplish. But on this SDG half-way day, I’d ask you to think again and to spend a short time listening into ‘An Idiot’s Guide to Saving the World’. Gail Gallie and Loyiso Madinga will take you on a journey across the globe to meet the people on the frontline; those who are affected and those making a difference. They demystify the gloomy narrative and harness some optimism to leave you feeling empowered and armed with ideas. No finger-wagging, crusading or catastrophising, but a fun and fascinating dive into how you and I can play our own part in saving the world.

As a UN Global Compact participant since 2009, Marshalls know that businesses also have an important part to play in SDG delivery. We’re supporting SDG flag day and at our sites you’ll see the SDG flags flying as a sign and a reminder of what they are and that we remain committed to contributing to their delivery.

As the flags fly on the 25th September marking eight years since 193 United Nations member states adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we may be off track as a plant, but with intent, energy and action we have the opportunity to pull-it-round.

SDG FlagStaff from Marshalls waving the SDG Flag outside of head office

The Global Goals, as they are also referred to, were hailed as a historic opportunity to unite all global stakeholders to end extreme poverty, address inequality & injustice and protect our planet. Of 36 targets reviewed in the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (1), only two are on track to be achieved, while progress on eight is deteriorating. Implementation is simply too slow, and even regressing in some areas like climate action, biodiversity loss, inequality, poverty eradication, gender equality, education and eliminating hunger. Yes, the world has had a spate of shocks over the past three or four years which have impacted progress, but we have no alternative but to dust ourselves down and take action. It’s actions, big and small that will take us to a tipping point in the right direction.

Marshalls will continue to double-down to help accelerate the Global Goals, and so should we all. When the SDGs are back on-track we all win.

You can find out more information in The Global Goals podcast series, 'An Idiot's Guide To Saving The World' and in our document here.

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