The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals
As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by unanimous vote by every country represented at the United Nations. The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another. The Goals provide clear guidelines and targets which can be adopted in accordance with the priorities of each country and the environmental challenges of the world at large.
The SDGs offer a framework to drive CSR activity and to further deepen and enrich it. Attainment of the Goals is based on a progressive partnership model between government, civil society and business, and represent an historic opportunity for business to engage more broadly, as a positive force for society. The CSR National Plan and Forum has embraced the SDGs call to action for the business community and is actively examining how to encourage more businesses to consider aligning their CSR agenda with the goals.
Through a Forum working group, a cursory analysis of what Forum member businesses are doing was conducted and this provided insights on current practices and priorities together with identifying case studies. The analysis points to a range of further actions to enhance the understanding and awareness on the role and impact of business on the Goals. The CSR Forum is keen that this can be progressed as part of the Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan, and its engagement mechanisms.
The SDG National Implementation Plan 2018-2020 for Ireland, commits Government to establish a national SDG Stakeholder Forum. The Forum will be used to consult and engage in the preparation of future Plans and reporting, as stakeholders have a key role in the follow-up and review processes which monitor how Government implements the Goals. The active participation of the business sector is imperative in this process. To that end, the CSR Stakeholder Forum, through its members, will seek to strategically engage with and contribute to, the work of the National SDG Stakeholder Forum and actively encourage the participation of the business sector in Ireland’s ambition to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals