Earlier this year at the Aspen Institute’s Action Forum, Anand Giridharada held a talk about the looming Sustainable Development agenda, and discussed it from a very atypical angle. He maintained that instigating the numerous targets attached to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is not the solitary way to the conducive living atmosphere we are hunting for. The UN is telling us the opposite, but according to Anand, preventing what causes poverty, for instance, would be more rational than combating an already established crisis.
Looking at the direction the once-auspicious MDGs took, you would almost concur that facing the SDGs in the premeditated way is nothing but another well-fashioned reverie.
Sustainable Development – Not Without Business Playing Its Part
Anand might have been short of hard facts to back his compelling speech, but luckily, Michael Green who has echoed Anand’s ideas, has some data in his defense. Green, recently, during one of his TED talk shows, said that realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals depends hugely on how individuals, the government, businesses and nonprofits conduct their operations over the next fifteen years.
He believes that the contribution of business malpractices to the multiple global crises that the UN is trying to get rid of is overriding and that a slight positive change would cast a massive impact on the 2030 agenda.
He took an example of H&M, which produces more than “600 million pieces of fast fashion”, subjects its employees to “skeptical safety standards”, works with less than “13.7% worth of organic cotton” in its total output and majors in producing unrecyclable clothing.
Apparently H&M is a self-proclaimed sustainable company, and Green believes no amount of green campaigns and sustainability reports by business enterprises can make up for their malpractices, even in their most trivial form, during production of their goods and services.
Linda Greer, senior officer at Natural Resources Defense Council, thinks the same. “Fundamentally, there’s a disconnect between the idea that you are selling a tremendous amount of clothing in fast fashion and that you’re trying to be a sustainable company,” she shared.
Seemingly, Green’s “do more good and do less harm” slogan is shared by a good number of environmentalists universally.
Everyone’s is eager for a change, and if that change is going to be spearheaded by a mere change in how we go about production and provision of goods and services, it’s high time the world joined the movement.