The United Nations Development Programme outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. And, these goals are interconnected in that tackling one often leads to making progress on another, working to make the right choices to improve life for future generations in a sustainable way. The goals have begun to drive action, influencing UNDP policy and funding in 2016. These goals will continue to guide UNDP actions through 2030 (applause)!
While the world has made progress towards these goals, significant work remains to be done. For instance, between 1990 and 2015, the number of people living in extreme poverty around the globe dropped by more than half – to 836 million from 1.9 billion. As the UNDP notes, more than 800 million people still live on less than $1.25 a day. Many of them lack access to clean drinking water, adequate food, and proper sanitation. In countries such as India and China, millions have emerged from poverty by way of economic growth, yet progress has been uneven. One clear example is of this disparity is that women are more likely to live in poverty than men due to unequal access to paid work, education and property.
At UpEffect, we believe that the biggest global challenges facing humanity are not insurmountable, though will require innovative methods and concerted effort to tackle. UpEffect supports new ventures that are dedicated to the mission of improving lives and the planet, and we give entrepreneurs opportunities to turn ideas into real ventures that otherwise may not be brought to market. (Yes, UpEffect entrepreneurs are working on the Sustainable Development Goals)!
Some examples of how the UpEffect community is working on these goals (most, if not all, work towards ending poverty and taking climate action in some way):
Zero Hunger and No Poverty
Funded on UpEffect, Jake’s Boost line is 100% natural nut and seed butters that are free from dairy, gluten, salt, refined sugar. Jake’s Boost donates 5% of profits to fight childhood food poverty in the UK by serving nutritious meals to the most vulnerable members of the society during school holidays. As with many of the entrepreneurs, this product works towards multiple SDGs – eliminating hunger and poverty, as well as promoting health and a sustainable planet through a vegan diet.
Good Health and Well-Being
Jivana Vitality has established the brand “Sujal,” A Sustainable Approach to Delivering Clean Drinking Water. This innovative water-shop system delivers affordable and clean drinking water to rural communities in India.
Over a fifth of the communicable diseases such as cholera, malaria, typhoid and filarsis in India are related to unsafe drinking water, and diarrhea causes more than 1,600 deaths daily. Water with high levels of fluroide causes bone weakening deaseses. In India approximately 97 million people do not have access to clean drinking water – far more people, around 400 million, face the problem of inadequate access. Jivana Vitality actively counteracts these unacceptable conditions by ensuring clean drinking water and promoting a healthy lifestyle – helping to solve the water problem in India.
Quality Education and Gender Equality
Akhuwat: Buy a Brick, Build a University is building Pakistan’s First Fee-Free University to make education accessible for all aspiring students. Currently, Pakistan has the highest rate of OSC (out of school children). Akhuwat University will be the first of its kind – A fee free residential university where students from all over Pakistan will be selected on merit and provided free quality higher education.
Akhuwat strongly believes that by providing access to quality free or affordable education, communities can be emancipated from poverty. By ensuring that children have access to a quality education that is rooted in equitable societal remit and gender equality, these opportunities will create positive impact for generations to come.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Social Impakt is an affordable water filtration system that provides high-impact ceramic water filters to improve access to clean drinking water for rural communities in Indonesia. The filter is a Dutch technology made of ceramic, colloidal silver and charcoal that lasts for about 2 years.
More than a billion individuals – one in seven people on the planet – now lack access to safe drinking water. Worldwide 1 in 5 child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhoea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. And Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world and Southeast Asia’s largest economy is no exception, with 34 Million people out of 255 Million lacking access to safe drinking water.
Beginning in Indonesia, Social Impakt estimates that by 2020, this product will have impacted 100 000 lives (16,000 as of 2017) by providing access to clean drinking water. And at the same time, allowing people to save money, to improve their health and have a positive impact on the environment.
It also reduces the demand for plastic water bottles!
Affordable and Clean Energy and Good Health
Jaan Pakistan Solar Cookstove is a clean energy cookstove that could potentially benefit half the planet and revolutionize the way of life for rural communities.
3 billion people on the planet still have no access to energy and live in remote, off-grid communities. Energy poverty has marginalized half the planet, leaving them behind in conditions comparable to the way people lived in the stone ages.
According to WHO, fatalities due to inefficient fuel combustion indoors and exposure to black carbon from traditional cookstoves is the second most leading causing of death in the world today. Approximately 4.3 Million people die prematurely each year from Chronic obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), stroke, cancer and other Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIs) associated with small soot particles that can penetrated deep into the lungs. Women and children are particularly at risk, since they are mainly responsible for household chores and remain near the hearth.
Sexy Socks provide a pair of school socks to a child in need for every pair of socks sold. The company also used socks as a vehicle for inspiring children to become social entrepreneurs. The socks are made from 83% bamboo and environmentally conscious. The positive impact of the product does not end at a pair of socks, because the company uses the platform in schools to inspire children to look beyond what their world view currently allows, to show children how business can be used as a force for good, and to enable them to realise the potential that they have to change their own lives and the lives of their community for the better.
Responsible Consumption and Production
AmaElla Sustainable and Ethical Lingerie designs and produces beautiful lingerie made from soft organic cotton (GOTS certified) – better for the environment, better for the farmers and better for the skin. All products are ethically produced by women, for women.
Fashion produced from organic cotton is a sustainable alternative to traditional cotton. Approximately ⅙ of all global insecticides come from non-organic cotton, and fashion is the second most polluting industry after oil! And, organic cotton uses over 60 percent less energy to create than does traditional cotton. In these ways, AmaElla helps reduce the ecological footprint by helping to change the production and consumption pattern in the fashion industry.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Little Difference Greeting Cards plants 1 tree towards permanent reforestation for every single product sold. All products are hand designed and then printed on recycled card and packaged in biodegradable wrapping.
Deforestation in Madagascar has critically endangered the ecosystem. The people rely on the ecosystem for existence and wellbeing. Over 50,000 tree’s have been planted and have created 500 days of employment in Madagascar helping to fight local poverty.
Of course, reforestation and saving ecosystems also makes a contribution to climate action.
Life on Land
Tunza Gorilla Ethical Fashion Brand is premium quality ethical and sustainable fashion brand with a mission to protect gorillas in central Africa. The clothing is made in a factory powered by renewable energy in India, reducing the carbon footprint and paying fair wages to workers to ensure every purchase helps the workers, the environment and the gorillas.
The idea for Tunza Gorilla came from witnessing the plight of the gorillas and the surrounding communities. From studying the issues involved in more detail, the company decided to find a way to create a large number of jobs for these communities that were connected with conservation, helping to lift them out of poverty and to see the value of gorillas and work to protect them.
Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
Some regions enjoy sustained levels of peace, security and prosperity, while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence.
Thraedable is an environmentally conscious clothing brand that shares 50% of profits with partner NGO’s to contribute to social projects. The clothing itself tells stories of marginalised communities — some of which have migrated due to geopolitical conflicts and violence — through artistic expression. Thraedable is a way of giving a voice to the voiceless through a medium that every person can see.