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The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explained

Updated: Mar 4




How much do you know about the UN Sustainable Development Goals?


Let’s look at why these goals matter -especially if you fund carbon offsetting - and, of course, what they actually are. 


Why should you learn about the SDGs?


All Gold Standard carbon offsetting projects must contribute to at least 3 SDGs. This helps ensure that projects have a wider positive impact, along with emissions reductions.


Note: here we’re talking about the SDGs in the world of offsetting projects, but they can also be used to guide sustainable business practices in any industry.


What are the SDGs?


The 17 SDGs are a set of goals at the centre of the The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agreement, reached in 2015 between all United Nations member States, aims to leave no one behind in the movement for sustainability, expanding the focus to include people and prosperity as well as the planet


Read more about the goals here or scroll down for an overview of each goal with examples.



Celebrating projects that meet these goals is a way of saying, ‘yes, let’s fund projects that reduce emissions, while also protecting habitat and promoting the survival of key species'. And even better yet, 'projects that do all this, while also supporting local livelihoods and increasing opportunities for education!'


An Equitable Approach to Climate Action


Another important reason to include people and global prosperity in our sustainability efforts is that many low emitting countries are now suffering the consequences of climate change far more than some of the worst emitters. 


Thanks to the SDGs, countries who have had a disproportionate climate impact in the past, while building wealth, can now support low emitters who want to see the same economic development without harming the planet.


Read a bit more about each goal below. ⬇️


Goal 1: No Poverty

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being

Goal 4: Quality Education

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 14: Life Below Water 

Goal 15: Life on Land

Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals






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