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The importance of Sustainable Development Goals for startups - and for you

by Sara Räisänen May 11, 2022 5 min read

The importance of sustainable development goals and a hand holding the world

While developing the  Sustainable Development Goals,  the United Nations addressed not only public entities like governments and major corporations, but also just regular people. With their  17 goals and 169 specific targets,  the SDG's point out sections and measures to be taken in order to keep creating actual value and keep our societies going with resources allocated correctly and without harm to the environment.


At first, going through the individual targets seems all consuming and too far away for smaller companies or individuals to achieve. It's the local government's responsibility, isn’t it? They are ambitious goals, aiming to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. There is nothing we as individuals can do about that, not anything that would really make a difference. Right?


Wrong. Tackling climate change and contributing to the SDG goals is something that we can all do already with very small daily deeds. While all the targets might sound distant, we can focus on the central theme of each goal and think about what I as a person have to give. What could I give more? How can I make an impact through my work and connections?


We all recognize ways for public sector or business giants to participate, but what is left for the rest of us? How can we truly have an impact on something so significant?


Starting with an idea


We had an idea. We made that idea into reality, and came up with more and more ideas along the way. We started with two people and an idea we could actually make happen in the near future. We started with an idea for you, for me, for people like us. To design products that are created against single use and planned obsolescence, and manufactured according to sustainability standards. 

We design for people living their lives constantly hearing worrying news about environmental problems, climate change, unsustainability of living standards and demands to stand up. There are solutions that allow everyone to lower their carbon footprint, but at the expense of major lifestyle changes, many fail to do so. Closing eyes from the opportunities because denial seems an easier way than carrying the weight of responsibility. 


The confrontation between requirements and practical implementation heats up emotions and further escalates the debate around climate change. Although it is a joint debate, since it affects us all. No matter what each of us personally wants, this planet also has its needs. Our environment is not in itself infinitely renewable and giving, but a consumable element and natural resource on which this whole way of life is built, all the way from those tiny insects surviving, and from food production to housing and livelihoods. How could it not touch each of us? 


One drop at a time

 

Our company currently employs three people. Three passionate people, who love their work and genuinely care about creating a better planet. But here’s the thing: we didn’t start from actually coming up with solutions to better this entire planet. Our mission started from the grassroots. The whole of it is to support sustainable development, but we didn’t set off with a solution to end all poverty at once.  Our purpose is to provide options for everyday folks and to inspire everyone to live more sustainably, since it can also be a life-enhancing thing. Seeing that their products last for years to come, for example. Something that gives rather than takes something away, while reducing environmental stress and consumption. Sustainability should make us feel good, not deprived. It has the power to calm and assure things are gonna be better, and we are doing our part in making it happen.  


Because ultimately, that is what matters. We can learn from what has been and improve for the future. As best we can. Sustainability is about working together, which is why in the end it doesn't matter what size, shape or methods are in use to achieve the SDG goals. The more we do as individuals, the more abundantly it adds to the whole. It is a building block the same as any other, even though the size of them varies greatly.


You can think of it this way: every drop of water is part of a whole, a story taking part in building all the bigger puddles.


Business realities


Of course, in all honesty, the allocation of financing and resources favors startups focusing on sustainability factors. That means more and more startups are founded in claims of improving people’s lives. In order to function, businesses need capital. Promoting sustainability in decisions and the allocation of funds is one step towards a better future, since it does encourage new starters to come up with solutions for a better tomorrow. We all want to create stuff that works and succeeds, right? Otherwise why bother starting a company at all? 


Sustainability is at the center of innovation happening right now. It’s part of the collaboration process as the major league is supporting newcomers. One might think it makes entrepreneurship for small companies too hard or challenging, but quite the opposite. We newcomers can start from scratch. Make every decision with sustainable development in mind. It’s different for the big ones there. They’ve been building their businesses on different merits and are only now switching them to a more sustainable direction, which naturally takes time.  


We startups can perhaps only have an impact on a small scale. But we are starting as forerunners of modern innovation, and what we’re doing is already right there at the heart of sustainable development.   


For the common goals


We are three people working together for sustainability. Already, we can do more than we could alone. We’re sharing ideas, experiences and skills to make things happen. Not everyone can take part in big global deeds. However, that doesn’t mean everything should just be left undone. Every person, company, organization and entrepreneur has their own pathway through which can influence the whole. For some people it might be lessening meat consumption and for others favoring public transportation. And then you, me and people like us might just enjoy innovative technological solutions that make it simple and easy. Looking good. 


We’re creating new connections and finding out solutions to support not only our work, but most of all the entire industry. But we’re quite happy starting with you as our first drop of water. Our dream is to provide solutions that are needed, but have not been discovered yet. Build them long lasting and for generations to come. Helping to enable modern technology in a way that does not wear down the environment.  


Think of the impact that would have globally. Sustainable electronics managing to reduce consumption. Now that would start helping on the hugest scale, wouldn’t it?  

 

Read more on our Sustainability page. 


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