In the words of Robert Swan, ”The greatest threat to earth is the belief that someone else will save it.”
In 2015, United Nations member states adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals geared toward equality, tackling climate change, improving health and education, encouraging economic growth, and preserving oceans and forests in all member countries.
Someone would ask, why does the world need Sustainable Development Goals? Here’s why:
- Sea levels are rising at an alarming rate, which could see many countries losing their coastlines, which will cause economic challenges to people dependent on fishing as a source of income.
- More than 800 million people face the adverse effects of climate change, i.e. drought, floods, and unprecedented weather events.
- Eight million tonnes of plastic find their way into the ocean. This ocean pollution is dangerous to marine life. If action is not taken, by 2050, we’ll have more plastic than fish in the sea.
- Global wildlife populations are going extinct. Urgent measures need to be taken to preserve wildlife.
- Millions of people are living under a dollar a day.
- It's estimated that about 25 million people are forced to provide labour to supply chain industries.
These are some of the issues the 17 SDGs seek to address globally.
At Ocean Sole, we’re proud to say we have adopted SDGs 8 and 14 in all our operations. These SDGs, and our ethos, help drive our sustainable development goals as an organisation.
Sustainable Development Goal 8
“Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.”
At Ocean Sole, we strive to achieve this goal by:
- Paying fair wages to our employees
- Creating a conducive environment for our employees to work
- Providing healthcare to our workers
- We are running a welfare program for our employees to cushion them amidst challenging economic times.
- We provide safe working tools for our employees.
- We support the education of the families of our employees.
- We provide hot meals to our entire staff.
We believe that a safe, non-sexist, fair, peaceful working environment is the right of every staff member at Ocean Sole.
Sustainable Development Goal 14
“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.”
The ocean and marine life in it are currently facing various threats. It falls upon all of us to do what we can in our capacity to protect the ocean, consequently protecting marine wildlife.
The following are the biggest threats facing the ocean:
- Plastic pollution
- Global warming
At Ocean Sole, we have applied SDG 14 in all our operations; here’s how:
- All our employees incorporate plastic-free use in their daily lives
- We encourage the recycling of plastics on all our social media platforms
- We have regular trash collection exercises around areas we are located.
- Weekly beach clean-ups at the coast are something we are incredibly passionate about.
- We collect trash along waterways and garbage sites, so they don’t find its way to the oceans.
- We upcycle Flip-flops that we collect from beaches and waterways.
- Our products are handmade and therefore don’t pose any dangers to our workforce and customers.
- We donate to organisations that are actively fighting ocean pollution.
- We engage coastal communities in our projects and teach them about ocean conservation.
- We provide work to coastal communities to help them economically amid challenges facing their fishing industry.
A sustainable world is possible! All of us have a part to play in creating this world. Let’s embrace the 17 SDGs not just in our industries but also in our personal lives.
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Written by: Maureen Simba