High-profile initiatives across the corporate, government and NGO sectors have given new momentum to the sustainability agenda in 2015
In sustainability terms, 2015 has been something of a turning point. Significantly, it marked the date by which the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should have been reached. Described by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon as “the most successful anti-poverty movement in history”, the MDGs helped to lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, made a significant impact on hunger and helped to virtually eliminate ozone-depleting substances.
According to Ban, the MDGs “generated new and innovative partnerships, galvanised public opinion and showed the immense value of setting ambitious goals”. However, the goals were not all achieved and much work remains to be done. At the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, more than 150 world leaders adopted the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which included the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that build upon the MDGs.
This new set of goals will shape the global development agenda, guiding policy and funding for the next 15 years. “It is a roadmap to ending global poverty, building a life of dignity for all and leaving no one behind,” said Ban. “It is also a clarion call to work in partnership...