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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: What Are They and Why They Matter

What if the whole world came together to eliminate poverty and hunger; ensure good health, quality education and clean water for all people and reduce inequalities? What if every country committed to work toward affordable, clean energy and responsible consumption and production? It may sound too good to be true, but through the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that’s actually happening now.

Adopted by all members of the United Nations, the agenda is a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. Central to the agenda are the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which represent an urgent call to action for partners around the globe to address worldwide problems such as hunger, poverty, education, health, economic growth, energy and climate issues.

SDGs Matter for Business and Our World

Every business faces challenges that might be solved through the UN’s broad global goals. For instance, businesses that want to expand into new global markets may be concerned about geopolitical instability. Those that manufacture goods reliant on clean water or other natural resources may be concerned about diminishing resources. As the impacts of climate change drive an increase in natural disasters, all businesses are at risk. And a worldwide shortage of qualified workers, which also concerns business leaders, might be solved through improved global education.

No one company or business leader can solve these problems alone. Instead, these complex challenges must be addressed through partnership and collaboration with others, including other businesses, industry leaders, customers, governments and society. The UN’s SDGs “provide a universal and visionary framework for global cooperation and action, bringing all stakeholders together to proactively address and solve challenges,” according to Ernst & Young.

In an effort to join the UN’s commitment to a more sustainable world, BBVA has created its own initiative to combat climate change, Pledge 2025. As part of the pledge, BBVA is one of 28 banks worldwide participating in the development of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking. During 2018, the first year of Pledge 2025, BBVA became the world’s leading bank in sustainable lending.

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