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The Sustainable Development Goals: a roadmap for the future

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by UN member states and define goals for a sustainable and social economy, society and cooperation.
Sabine Zinc
February 21, 2023
Climate positive

The agreement follows the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aims to complete the goals for a sustainable and social economy, society and cooperation that could not be implemented so far. And it does so in a participatory and realistic way! (3)

All development goals of the 2030 Agenda in the overview (3):

Overview: 17 Sustainable Development Goals

All goals intend to contribute to global peace, prosperity and the protection of our earth. The Future Plan also has implications for us. After all, it is about enabling a dignified life everywhere in the world and at the same time preserving natural resources in the long term. People should be able to live in a socially just world and enjoy good education. The goals are an expression of a vision that is not only directed at governments of different countries. Rather, they are also addressed to the populations, the private sector and the scientific community worldwide. It is important to focus on the needs of the weakest population groups and countries. After all, the goals can only be achieved by the set date of 2030 if no one is left behind in the development of solutions (1). In order to achieve this ambitious goal, business, ecology and science now go hand in hand. Only in this way can natural resources be used with particular care and sustainable agriculture be promoted, the planet's environment be protected and hunger and poverty be reduced.

Businesses can make the world more sustainable 

It is also becoming increasingly important for companies to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to align their actions and strategies with sustainable development. Through their diversity, the Global Goals offer many companies the opportunity to shape their economic co-responsibility in their own way, depending on their industry, business model and region. After all, not all 17 SDGs are equally important for all corporations and companies. And not every company can contribute to all sustainability goals. The UN Global Compact, on the other hand, sees the Global Goals as a guide for companies: They make clear what external stakeholders - especially politicians - expect from sustainable business. (4) The SDGs facilitate the alignment of corporate strategies with the needs of our society: they reveal innovation potential and can help to open up new markets. Many entrepreneurs already contribute - sometimes even unknowingly - to sustainable development and thus also to the SDGs. They do this, for example, by paying attention to the well-being and health of their employees (Goal 3), paying employees fairly and in a gender-neutral manner (Goals 5, 8), knowing the conditions under which their supply chains are managed (Goals 8, 12) or reducing their company's carbon footprint (Goal 13). Some of them allow employees the time to engage socially or actively support the common good in their community. (6)

The Corona pandemic has slowed the upward trend

Although the implementation of the SGDs has already shown positive effects, such as the reduction of child mortality or extreme poverty, setbacks have not been absent. The Corona pandemic has dramatically aggravated the current situation and it even threatens progress - the number of people extremely affected by poverty is currently rising again (2). This was revealed in the Sustainable Development Report 2021, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network in cooperation with the Bertelsmann Foundation. However, this stocktaking also describes how the Sustainable Development Goals could influence global reconstruction after the pandemic. 

Well-developed countries such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark are at the top of the SDG Index 2021, which keeps track of the achievement of the goals. However, it is also clear that, as things stand, no country will achieve all the SDGs by 2030. The rich countries are still absorbing the most dramatic consequences of the pandemic. This is impossible for the poor countries. A reform of the global financial system and debt relief for the poor countries are necessary in order to once again advance sustainable development. And much also needs to be done here in Germany. One of the most relevant building sites is climate protection. (5)

With our work at Planted, we enable you as an entrepreneur or private person to actively protect the climate. Our forest and supported climate protection projects therefore also go hand in hand with the 17 SDGs. Planting climate-stable mixed forests in Germany counteracts climate change and thus promotes, for example, Goal 13 and Goal 3 - the right to health and well-being. After all, the forest provides a habitat for numerous creatures and at the same time serves us humans as a recreational area. With its protective functions as a water reservoir, air filter and CO₂ store, our plantations have an impact on further goals. And the climate protection projects also go hand in hand with the SDGs. Want to learn more about the positive environmental and social impacts of the climate protection projects we support? Then read on here and then click through the individual project pages!


  1. https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/nachhaltigkeitspolitik/nachhaltigkeitsziele-verstaendlich-erklaert-232174
  2. https://www.bmz.de/de/agenda-2030
  3. https://www.plan.de/sdg-nachhaltige-entwicklungsziele.html
  4. https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/de/unsere-projekte/abgeschlossene-projekte/verantwortungsvolles-unternehmertum-und-soziale-innovationen/projektnachrichten/warum-sdgs-fuer-unternehmen-wichtig-sind
  5. https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/de/unsere-projekte/sustainable-development-goals-index/projektnachrichten/corona-pandemie-bremst-nachhaltige-entwicklung-weltweit-aus
  6. https://www.17goalsmagazin.de/sdg-17-ziele-in-unternehmen/