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The need for a fairer and greener economy is clear

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

The UN Global Compact Network UK published its Measuring Up 2.0 report (28/09/2022) - reviewing how the UK is performing against the SDGs, the wider policy context, and the historical trends that affect us achieving the Goals.

Commenting on the report, Claire Benson, co-director at SDG Changemakers explained:

“Without wanting to sound too much like the Labour Party Conference manifesto - at SDG Changemakers we believe that the report highlights - and is clear proof of - the need for a fairer and greener economy. One that has the best interests of the whole of the UK at its core, ensuring that no one is left behind.

As they stand, the SDGs (sustainable development goals) are the UK’s to-do list - one that needs a regular check-in to see how much or little we have achieved. As a country, we need to be accountable for them, which means that we do not change any goal posts or reinvent the wheel - in this case, the framework - if we are not quite where we should be.

We need to acknowledge that all the goals and targets are interrelated. For example, the current food system, inflation, and inequalities across the food value chain – such as the price farmers are getting for their products - directly impact land use and quality, biodiversity, and the health and nutrition of the population. In addition, they also have a party to play in the current energy and cost-of-living crisis, which could lead to unseen levels of poverty in this country, at least for the past two decades.

Considering the UK Government’s levelling up agenda and the cost-of-living crisis, the UK really needs to do more to reduce inequality in this country. There’s been a lot of talk, promises and white papers, but very little action. And just recently we’ve seen the latest announcement of Government Investment Zones - which didn’t touch on what is needed to ‘level-up’ and develop a green economy ie. skills development.

We desperately need increased collaboration across government, business, academia, and NGOs for systemic change. And what we mean by this is less of the performative statements and more transformative action (please).

To tackle the challenges the UK is facing like climate change, energy crisis, food insecurity and poverty, we need sustainable business models. This requires systems thinking and a government response to help shape the landscape as outlined in this report.

Businesses also have an opportunity to create innovative product and service solutions that involve thinking differently about the economy. This will create value across society and the environment, rather than business as usual with tech and data tacked on.

We all need to do much more. So, we praise the report for its insight and honesty and look forward to seeing the Measuring Up report which will - fingers crossed - show more focus and action.

At the end of the day - a healthy planet + healthy people = a healthy economy."

For more information contact Niki Hutchinson.

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