In 2015 the UN Sustainable Development Goals saw the light of day, and while they focus on how to achieve a better and more sustainable future by addressing the global challenges we face such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, peace and justice, they also bring a new and different perspective on how to not only run a business inspired by these Goals, but also on how to act as a private consumer around the Goals.
While more and more companies try to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals in their businesses, it might seem a bit less obvious to a private consumer, to which extent it even matters living by the Goals and even how to do it. Every now and again the average consumer hears about the importance of living a sustainable life in order for the planet to survive, but like many other words, “sustainable” is somewhat of a buzzword these days, and people love to live a sustainable life without knowing exactly how to. Some people might even think that it is subordinated whether or not they buy a shirt made by workers with tight conditions or that it has no impact whether or not they buy one tiny plastic bag when grocery shopping, but if 100, 10,000 or 1 billion people all chose not to buy a plastic bag it would move the world in a more sustainable direction. And fact is we are all able to make sustainable decisions and every little decision matter.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are not only pointed towards governments and companies who might, when seeing it from the outside, have a bigger voice in the society, they also point towards the individual user because we all influence the direction we would want our planet to move towards. It might not seem obvious that one small person’s sustainable choices help the entire world. But remember, it is not only about that one person, it is about all the others choosing to follow the example of that one person.