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What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the world’s call to action on the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing humanity and the natural world.

The SDGs encourage authorities to deliver on national and international commitments such as asking governments to address human rights, water and energy efficiency, public health, and other policy areas. It is a blueprint for achieving a better more sustainable future for everyone by tacking issues such as poverty, climate change, environmental degradation, and prosperity, and accreditation plays a leading role in tackling them.

Watch the The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Video from IAF/ILAC

Why do the SDGs matter for business?

The SDGs present opportunities for organisations to review their business and working practices and help address the world’s biggest sustainable development challenges.  The call to action for business to align their operations to a universally shared set of principles can help strengthen their proposition, driving innovation, investment, and partnerships that will transform a business and its impact on the environment.

Consumers are attracted to businesses that align their priorities with their own

Consumers are increasingly basing purchasing decisions on their perception of a company’s sustainability performance and are looking to companies to act responsibly in a consistent manner. They want to see it at the core of its business decisions and see evidence that it promotes a better sustainability performance throughout its operations.

Drivers of technology and innovation

The SDGs support innovation across a variety of fields such as energy, construction, food, and mobility and long-term success for business hinges on the SDGs being realised. Accreditation helps organisations drive for better efficiency across their operations in order that they are continuously improving quality and improve implementation so that business that can take an active role in leading the transformation, that will ultimately be better placed to harness market opportunities, manage risk, and endure through to 2030 and beyond.

How does accredited certification help achieve global goals for sustainable development?

Governments and business are key drivers for making and implementing decisions that have a lasting effect on society. The UK government have already outlined their plans for driving the realisation of their goals through regulations to improve society and the environment so no one is excluded. With many regulations becoming stricter and enforceable through law, business are encouraged to adopt standardised and measurable processes so that their operations have a positive influence of the environment.

Accreditation Certification offers the most transparent and most widely accepted route for formal recognition world-wide of credible and trustworthy conformity.

A trusted platform for policy makers

Accreditation benefits both a country’s domestic economy and its international trade by improving trade flows and bringing good governance:

  • For governments it helps them meet regulatory and legislative responsibility, reducing the uncertainties in decisions affecting the protection of human health and the environment.
  • For business, it is a greater acceptance of products and services and a means to avoid multiple testing, inspections and certifications leading to more satisfied customers, reputational advantage.
  • For consumers – greater public confidence goods and services.

Recognised the world over accredited standards are a solid base on which to create policy that helps further SDG goals such as human rights, water and energy efficiency, health, and safety and more not only for governments and the public sectors but the private sector. Not only are these accreditations a great tool for reinforcing an organisation’s sustainability commitment and goals, but they have also been proven to help drive growth.

Accreditation helps by creating:

Standardisation – creates the national and international standards that describe good practice in how things are made and done.

Conformity assessment – testing and certification to ensure the quality, performance, reliability, or safety of products meet specifications and standards before they enter the market.

Measurement – implementation of specifications and standards to ensure accuracy, validity, and consistency

Using an accredited certification body provides a trusted platform so that policymakers, businesses, and other stakeholders can make better use of the knowledge allowing them to build the framework needed to strengthen the implementation, measurement, and monitoring of their own sustainable development goals.

Why not read more on how does accredited ISO certification link with the Sustainable Development Goals?