How Following The UN’s Sustainability Goals Can Help Your Business

This article delves into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and explores how businesses can use their waste efforts to take action to support them.

What exactly are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The UN laid out 17 sustainable development goals in 2015. These goals lay out the world’s shared plan to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet by 2030:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  1. Reduced Inequalities
  2. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  3. Responsible Consumption and Production
  4. Climate Action
  5. Life Below Water
  6. Life on Land
  7. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  8. Partnerships for the Goals

Adopted by 193 countries, the SDGs emerged from the most inclusive and comprehensive negotiations in UN history and have inspired people from across all business sectors and geographies to take positive action.

The UN Foundation focuses on ideas and initiatives that advance the SDG imperative to “leave no one behind,” and are backed by evidence, practical commitments, and action. Corporate action is recognized as being crucial to delivering the 2030 Agenda.

How can businesses use their waste efforts to support these goals?

Sustainable waste management is an integral element in three of the SDGs, those relating to responsible consumption and production (goal 12), as well as climate action (goal 13) and sustainable cities and communities (goal 11).

There are a number of concrete steps that businesses can take to support these goals.

  • Following the waste hierarchy to minimize waste production, first eliminating unnecessary resource usage, and then reusing and recycling the greatest volume of resources possible. Click here to read our series of articles on the strategies and technologies your business can apply to significantly reduce the volume of waste you produce and make your waste management operations more sustainable.
  • Reducing the carbon impact of your waste operations by limiting unnecessary hauls, and with it, the climate impacting emissions that these heavy vehicles produce. Click here to read our article on how NWA optimizes your waste operations to make them more efficient and more sustainable.
  • Transitioning to zero waste by diverting remaining general waste to incineration plants, rather than consigning it to landfill. Click here to read our article on the importance of incineration and Waste to Energy (WtE) plants.
  • Reporting and disclosure of your waste management data, through disclosure programs such as the GRI Standards and CDP. Click here to read our article for more insight into how to report on your waste management efforts, and how NWA can help you do so.

Why do these SDGs matter for my business?

Those businesses that do successfully practice sustainable waste management and integrate the SDGs into their practices will be uniquely placed to benefit from a number of benefits, including:

  • Lower operating costs through reduced procurement, reduced waste disposal bills, and improved operational efficiency
  • Lower operating risk as supply chains are made more robust, shorter, and more transparent
  • Greater brand value and perception as your business shares the positive steps it is making to become more sustainable and to support the UN’s SDGs with customers, investors and the general public
  • Increased brand awareness by becoming a part of globally recognized pledges, treaties and working groups

How can my organization publicize our positive efforts?

One effective strategy is to sign a globally recognized environmental pledge, such as the Climate Pledge (click here to follow this link for more information). 110 major businesses have so far signed up for the Climate Pledge and these businesses have agreed to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early within their own operations. Businesses such as Amazon, Mercedes-Benz, Unilever and Verizon are among the signatories that are dedicated to decarbonizing their business and making the journey to net zero waste and net zero emissions.

Reporting and disclosure of your waste management statistics also enables you to share your sustainability efforts with internal and external stakeholders, including shareholders and potential investors.

Support the SDGs with National Waste Associates

National Waste Associates (NWA) helps our customers to make their waste management more sustainable, efficient, and cost effective. This helps your business to align itself with the UN’s SDGs, particularly the goals relating to responsible consumption and climate action.

If your organization wants to support these goals, our experts will work directly with your individual locations to create the most sustainable recycling and waste management programs and reporting tools possible.

And unlike most waste management service providers, NWA has a dedicated Compliance Manager who can extract and monitor all of your waste management data and complete this paperwork for you, providing you with the action points you need to succeed along with the ongoing help of the rest of the NWA team

NWA will align your waste operations, not just the SDGs, but also with your own corporate ESG objectives, helping to make you a sustainable business that is more attractive to investors and customers alike.

If you would like to know more about sustainable waste management and the SDGs,
call 1-888-692-5005 x6 or email

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