21 December 2017
Businesses Collaborate for SDGs in Tourism, Fashion and Retail
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

The Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) aims to ensure that its strategies, targets and policies are aligned with the SDGs.

The cruise industry has had the most impact on SDG 7, SDG 8 and SDG 13, among others.

Student designers invited to the UN by the SDG Fund proposed the first draft resolution liked to the fashion industry.

November 2017: Private sector actors in the cruise industry, retail pharmacies and other sectors have used partnerships and released communications on supporting achievement of the SDGs. Walgreens and Boots announced that they will work to ensure alignment with the SDGs. A cruise lines trade association released commitments that support each SDG. And the UN’s SDG Fund and Global Compact are engaging other “new and dynamic sectors” to contribute to the SDGs.

Walgreens, one of the largest drugstore store chains in the US, and Boots, the UK’s biggest pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, comprise the Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), which aims to ensure that its strategies, targets and policies are aligned with the SDGs. WBA employs more than 400,000 people at over 13,200 stores in 11 countries. It has mapped each of its corporate social responsibility goals to one or more SDGs, to enable more effective measurement of progress and reporting of findings. The retailers aim to address as many SDGs as possible, focusing on those where they can have the biggest impact.

In support of SDG 13 (climate action), Walgreens committed to cutting its energy use by 20% by 2020. Boots aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020, and the Boots UK EnergyCare programme encourages employees to be more conscious about how and when they use electricity. [WBA Webpage] [News Story on WBA]

The cruise industry’s initiatives have had the most impact on SDGs 7, 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, notes the CLIA.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) highlighted members’ commitments to the SDGs in honor of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Members of CLIA, the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, have undertaken initiatives that protect the environment and create sustainable communities where their ships visit. According to the CLIA, the cruise industry has had the most impact on:

  • SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) by aiming to achieve a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025, through the use of hull paints with non-toxic coatings that reduce fuel consumption, energy-saving LED lights, higher efficiency appliances and solar panel installation;
  • SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) through its support of almost one million full-time jobs;
  • SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) through resilient port infrastructure, which is critical for a successful cruise industry, job creation and the health of surrounding communities;
  • SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) through protecting and preserving communities visited by CLIA member ships;
  • SDG 13 (climate action) through support of the first ever global and legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction regime for an entire industry; and
  • SDG 14 (life below water) by supporting the Ballast Water Management Convention to address the transfer of aquatic organisms and pathogens, and by committing to not discharge untreated sewage.

[Cruise Industry Commitments to Sustainable Development] [News Story] [2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development Website]

In seeking to engage “new and dynamic sectors” to contribute to the SDGs, the UN SDGs Fund Ambassadors include the Roca Brothers, chefs who are highlighting links to improved nutrition, sustainable agriculture and reducing food waste. The UN Global Compact recently invited youth from Copenhagen’s Youth Fashion Summit to the UN. The young designers explored how companies can align their sustainability goals with actions on gender, climate, poverty and responsible consumption. The students proposed the first UN draft resolution linked to the fashion industry. [UN SDGs Fund] [IPS News]

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