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How REAP businesses are advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Local advancement of the United Nations' goals for global prosperity

There’s been lots of talk about SDGs lately, but what are they are why are they important?

In 2016 the United Nations Development Programme set 17 Sustainable Development Goals as “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity,” according to the United Nations’ website.

The goals are lofty. They are also achievable when businesses and non-profits like ours come together to do what they can locally, for global impact. Here’s a breakdown of each of the goals and what’s been done in Calgary to achieve them:

1. No Poverty – Enough for All is Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy, stewarded by Vibrant Communities Calgary with the goal of cutting poverty in half by 2023 through avenues like doing business differently, Reconciliation, and basic income.

2. Zero HungerMealshare is a non-profit that partners with restaurants in Canada and the US to provide meals to children in need in each city through a buy-one-give-one model. To date, Mealshare has provided 1,950,985 meals.

3. Good Health & Well-Being Dr For Moms Family Health Center is a multidisciplinary healthcare facility, serving pregnant and post-partum women, babies, and families. In January REAP hosted its first Be Well Retreat, bringing a variety of resources to social entrepreneurs in our community. For a look at the key lessons click here.

4. Quality Education – Besides natural and organic skincare, Ellie Bianca is also on a mission to empower women and men in Africa through business and education. Founder Evelyne Nyairo sponsors young people in Kenya through post-secondary education and has done so for years.

5. Gender Equality – To see what seven REAP members are doing, check out our article celebrating International Women’s Day here.

6. Clean Water & Sanitation - To see how four REAP members are innovating around water conservation, check out the World Water Day article here.

7. Affordable & Clean Energy - Eclipse Sustainability Projects is a solar installation company, harnessing the power of the sun for sustainable energy solutions. Bullfrog Power is Canada’s largest provider of green electricity, fuel, and natural gas for thousands of homes and businesses over more than a decade.

8. Decent Work & Economic GrowthMomentum is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending poverty in Calgary through business development, financial literacy – including a long-standing micro-loans program, and skills training. CMNGD is an employment model to lift barriers for Calgary’s marginalized population, providing work at a living wage in their laundry warehouse for refugees and residents of the Drop-in Centre.

9. Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - Calgary Economic Development aims to bring new infrastructure to Calgary and diversify its economy beyond oil and gas. DIRTT is a commercial and residential builder that uses innovating technology to create zero-waste construction projects.

10. Reduced InequalitiesUniversal Access is an auditor dedicated to making Calgary a more accessible city for people of all abilities by helping businesses consider and accommodate the unique needs of the disabled community.

11. Sustainable Cities & Communities - Green Calgary is a non-profit dedicated to environmental education and infrastructure, known for their annual rain barrel sales and the Depave program to remove unnecessary asphalt. Calgary Dollars is another non-profit, providing Calgary’s own complimentary currency and investing in the community through Take Action Grants.

12. Responsible Consumption & Production - O'Reilly Design Co is a graphic design agency that exclusively works with values-based and vegan businesses. Conscious Brands is a consulting firm that helps other businesses achieve sustainability in their leadership, culture and operations.

13. Climate Action - TreeEra tackles climate change and deforestation by planting hundreds of trees on behalf of individuals and businesses every year on a subscription and one-off basis. The trees are planted in deforested regions of Alberta and British Columbia.

14. Life Below Water - Adventure with Purpose is an educational tourism agency. One of their offerings is sustainably-minded snorkelling excursions with whale sharks and sea turtles – where tourists can learn and become passionate about life below water while keeping a safe distance so as not to disturb the animals.

15. Life on Land – Waste management and pollution has a huge impact on biodiversity. Businesses like BluPlanet Recycling, DIG Events, Green Start, and Hop Compost are all doing their part to keep waste out of the landfill.

16. Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions – Vibrant Communities Calgary works extensively with Indigenous stakeholders to meaningfully address unique circumstances of poverty and the effects of residential schools. Metro Alliance for the Common Good brings together organizations and communities of Calgary to transform our city into a community which acts justly and respects all.

17. Partnerships for the Goals - Alberta Council For Global Cooperation is a province-wide initiative to create local, sustainable change in accordance with the United Nations’ goals.

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Click the links above to learn more about each organization mentioned in this article.
  2. Read more about the Sustainable Development Goals here.