Written by Lauren Smith - 6th October 2021
A Guide To The United Nations SDGs - Goal 13 Climate Action
The UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs for short – You may have heard of them, or maybe you’ve seen the UN colour wheel logo – but what do they mean, and why are they important?
Each SDG aims to address a specific and critical issue for humanity and our planet, and at Social Stories Club our aim is to support all 17 goals by the end of 2022. We started this blog series as a way to look at each of the goals we directly support and share the amazing stories of our social venture partners who are working on these issues right now.
Later this month, Scotland is set to host the United Nations COP26 conference, an annual summit that will bring world leaders together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement - to stop the world’s temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees. This is a huge opportunity for countries, nations and states to share their progress and deliver their pledges for reducing emissions.
With this in mind, we have focused this month’s instalment on Goal 13 – Climate Action. We will be looking at why this is so important, what we as businesses and consumers can do to help and of course our social venture partners who are tackling these problems right now.
Quick reminder - What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The 2030 Agenda was adopted in 2015 by all UN Member States and describes an ambitious strategy to stimulate action in areas of critical importance. At the centre of this strategy are the 17 SDGs and each of these goals represents the issues that matter most and will bring about peace and prosperity to humanity and the planet.
Goal 13 - Climate Action
Climate Change is affecting every country in the world right now. Sea levels continue to rise and weather patterns are changing and becoming more and more extreme. If no action is taken, climate change will result in the average global temperature increasing beyond 3°C, and this could adversely impact every single ecosystem.
Find out more on the UN Sustainable Goals website.
What needs to change?
To address climate change we need to collaborate and dramatically increase our efforts. The world must look at its energy, industry, transport, food, agriculture and forestry systems to identify the transformations that can be made to ensure that we can limit global temperatures from rising.
2010-2019 was the warmest decade on record, bringing with it extreme weather such as wildfires, droughts, floods and hurricanes.
Protecting and rebuilding natural habitats is a powerful way to build defences against the impacts of climate change. They help to build natural defences against storms and floods, whilst thriving ecosystems contribute to sustainable farming and also support billions of lives across the world.
How is Social Stories Club taking action?
Reducing our impact on the environment has always been a priority for us at Social Stories Club. We are constantly researching and seeking out ways to reduce our waste and improve our carbon footprint. This year we were excited to announce that all of our deliveries are now carbon neutral! This means that whenever we send out one of our sustainable gift boxes, the carbon emissions released during its transport will be offset. You read more about our carbon neutral shipping here.
From biodegradable boxes and mailer bags, wood wool sourced from sustainable timber forests, and reusable hampers made from paper rope, we carefully source the best sustainable materials to ensure our packaging has as little impact on the environment as possible.
What can we do to help as consumers?
1. Stay informed and do your research – before purchasing from a company or business, have a look for their sustainability disclosures, brand values or FAQs. The more we know, the better choices we can make!
2. Choose alternatives to the big online giants and shop smaller, more sustainable alternatives.
3. Stay positive! We know discussions on this topic can seem overwhelming, scary and worrisome but the important thing is to keep up the good work and do what you can, where you can and stay positive along the way.
Have we made any progress?
Advances in tackling climate change are already leading to cleaner air, restoring nature and creating jobs which in turn, helps to boost our economy. Over 1500 businesses, investors, regions and cities have joined the Race to Resilience, with each one committing to take action in building a stronger future. The next 10 years will bring about the biggest challenge of all as we adapt and work together towards reducing the global temperature and making a big positive change.
Our Social Venture Partners Working Towards Goal 13
The Goodwash Company
Established in Barri, Wales, the Good Wash Company sell luxurious cruelty free wash products made from the finest natural ingredients. Social impact is at the heart of what they do and so they reinvest their profits to projects that support local communities and animals. In 2020, they launched their eco refill pouches and stations at their Good Sheds shop, encouraging customers to reuse their empty Good Wash bottles and pumps.
Chocolate and Love
Chocolate and Love are an award-winning brand that makes delicious dark chocolate from the finest organic ingredients. Every aspect of the business is run as ethically as possible from reducing their shipping to cut down on fuel costs or using FSC certified paper and plastic free silver wrappers that are completely biodegradable. They also collaborate with innovative reforestation organisation Weforest.org and to date have planted 28,000 trees! By planting trees with this organisation they can offset the production of paper used in packaging their chocolate bars.
Island Bakery produce delicious organic biscuits baked entirely from renewable energy sources. Electricity for the building is generated both by a hydro-electric turbine on the Tobermory river and a single wind turbine set on a hill above the bakery. Their unique ovens are heated using local wood chips from Mull’s timber plantations. Not only is this environmentally sustainable but the gentle heat gives the biscuits a slow and perfect bake.
You can find The Goodwash Company, Chocolate and Love and Island Bakery products in our shop.
If you would like to learn more, we highly recommend the following articles and websites that we used as research for this blog post : Goal 13 & COP26 explained.
Next month, we will be looking closely at another SDG and how we and our social venture partners are making a difference. We hope you found this blog post helpful but if you have any more questions please do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find the first blog post in this series here.