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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

How YOU Can Commit to the Global Goals in Your Workplace

Updated: Nov 3, 2018

Image credit: 드림포유

By now, no doubt, global citizens know all about the Global Goals.

If not, you can refresh your memory here.

While global citizens are tweeting at governments, emailing Heads of State and calling government departments to make them accountable for these goals, the Global Goals require support of more than just political leaders.


Yes! You. You can help the 1.3 billion people currently living in poverty quite simply.

And it doesn’t just have to be you. Why not ask your workplace to start implementing some ways to commit to the Global Goals?

Here’s a list of ideas on ways your company can support each Goal:

Company retreats! The extent of what your organisation can do depends on the budget for your staff professional development. If you only have a small budget, instead of bringing in the same-old boring external professional development specialist, why not look into organising a staff retreat in your own neighbourhood! A great way to bond, strengthen relationships and talk about issues relating to communication and teamwork is to go out into the community and help the disadvantaged. With a bigger budget, you can look into travelling to a more remote community or even overseas to a developing country. The possibilities are endless!

A super cool idea is to go out for office meals and put in an extra couple of dollars each time. At the end of the year, your office should have enough cash to donate to an organisation targeting food shortages to give someone a meal, especially over holiday season!

If you own a business which sells food produce, don’t just throw it out when it passes its best-before date! My dad used to own a bakery, and at the end of each day, he would give any bread left over from that day to a soup kitchen. The bread wasn’t mouldy or dangerous to eat. In fact, we kept a few loaves to sell the next day for the people who like their bread a little bit stale (yes - that population does exist). Instead of going in the bin, the bread went to feed people who couldn’t scrape together enough money for a meal. A much better alternative for the 1.3 billion tonnes of food the world wastes each year.

Wednesday Walks! Ever feel that mid-week slump? It’s hump day. You survived Monday and Tuesday, but Friday seems so far away. Why not pack a lunch to work, eat at your desk and use your lunch break to go for a walk with your colleagues? By donating a dollar or two per week to the Wednesday Walk fund, you can get outside, get some fresh air, remind yourself to keep healthy and donate your collected funds to an organisation supporting global health efforts. The best news is that studies have found that walking actually boosts creative inspiration! Keep fit, work more efficiently and contribute towards global health - what’s not to love!

Speak to your supervisor about organising training days for underprivileged children. Sometimes, young people in society find they can’t get a job because they don’t have the necessary skills - this is especially true with struggling families or families who have just moved to a new country. Ask your manager if you can set aside a day during a quiet period where you can work with disadvantaged kids, help them master those essential skills and answer the tricky questions about performing in the workplace! You will be assisting the youth of society in securing future job opportunities!

Does your workplace hire the same amount of men as women? Are as many women in leadership roles as men in your organisation? Do women get paid the same amount as men in your workplace? If you answered “no” to any of these, this is a great opportunity for you to demand change! Some countries around the world, such as Iceland, have started implementing laws setting minimum quotas for how many women must be represented on company boards. Why not start implementing some of these practices in your own workplace? (And it really helps if it’s men advocating here as much as women)

Quite simply: avoid plastic water bottles whenever possible. Ban them in the office.

Choose one day per month where your organisation really focuses on energy consumption. Do you have a power outlet switched on when you’re not using it? It’s time to cut back! While doing this one day a month may not seem like a lot, it will definitely make you become more aware of how much power you are using, often unnecessarily, thus giving you insight into how to reduce your overall consumption.

Work smart; play hard; rest hard. It is important to do your best at your job, but that involves working smart. There is no need to work until 11pm if you’re not going to work productively. To ensure good economic growth, it is important to maximise productivity in your workplace. Make sure you are getting adequate rest and enjoying a life outside of your job. The money you are able to generate in the economy through your work (and through your consumption in the time you use to rest from work) generates more tax revenues governments can use to fund the Global Goals!

Your organisation can contribute to this by committing to research and development. The Global Goals website calls on people to “Enhance scientific research, upgrade technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research spending.” Investing in research and development means your organisation may be able to enhance productivity and further extend their capabilities.

There are many organisations which work to provide decent employment opportunities for recent immigrants. When looking for your next hire, why not reach out to one of these organisations? It is important to ensure everyone is included in the economy.

This one is one of the more tricky goals to implement into your workplace, but it can still be done! This goal is an overarching goal for Goals 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13. It’s all about implementing best practices. If you think you can see a process in your workplace that could be executed more efficiently with less waste, less resource consumption and more inclusiveness, let someone know! Remember, we are not a generation of bystanders!

Many companies have started including a memo at the bottom of all of their email signatures, stating something along the lines of, “Please consider the environment before printing this email.” This is simple, straightforward and a great reminder about obsessively printing.

The people from my previous job will know exactly what I’m going to say here… RECYCLE RECYCLE RECYCLE! Do I need to say anymore? My poor colleagues always heard me going ON and ON about recycling. Every time we had a bin collection, I would let them know what I thought of their recycling efforts. It’s so important to ensure everyone is minimising how much paper is used in order to guarantee a sustainable future.

Look into committing one day each month to a clean-up of local water bodies in your area such as rivers, lakes, dams or beaches. It might be over a lunch break or it might be an afternoon one day. This is a great way to bond as a team and also keep marine life safe from ingesting human trash. Aquatic organisms are critical to the sustainability of our planet. Don’t make them pay for the lack of human empathy. Take time out of your day to do your part.

Don’t want to do the cleanup? Then recycle and avoid things like microplastics that get dumped into oceans and can harm sea life. You would be amazed at what kind of human waste can harm animals - even helium balloons!

Much like Goal 14, you can commit your time to cleaning up terrestrial waste. This is a critical task and requires the commitment of everyone to ensure our flora and fauna are safe from extinction.

Peace and justice starts at a grassroots level. Start by making peace in your workplace. You can’t fight for peace in other countries if you can’t even make peace in your own workplace! Hand out the olive branch today and make your workplace a place of peace and justice!

Make the Global Goals famous! Feature them on your company website. Hang them in your workplace. Include them in your company signature. The only way we will achieve these goals is if everyone knows about them. Your organisation can do its part to make this happen!

This article was originally published on the Global Citizen website.


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