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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Workshop Round-Up

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Highlights and insights from keynote speakers and attendees at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals conference and workshop, that we co-hosted with Tevi here at our home at Truro’s Old Bakery Studios in February.

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“193 countries managed to distill their aim down into four words: “Leave no one behind.”

– Fran van Dijk, One Stone Advisors

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“Rainbow washing is something to watch out for; once undermined the SDGs will stop being meaningful and cease to have impact.”

– Fran van Dijk, One Stone Advisors

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“Tevi is a business support programme, supporting businesses across Cornwall to be more sustainable through their contribution to environmental growth and the circular economy. Now in that context, this stage is really important for us because it shows how Cornish enterprises can connect with the broader global sustainability initiative. It’s all about making sure that we put Cornwall on the map as a beacon of sustainability around the SDGs to show the leadership that our SMEs can take when it comes to sustainability.”

– Edvard Glücksman, Tevi

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“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an active blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, no matter the business sector or size. Measuring and actively engaging with the goals is a key for all businesses in this decade to be part of a collaborative one-planet approach, and of course that’s much easier using the B Corp Business Impact Assessment that now includes an SDG Action Manager.
We love everything that Tevi enables within the business and environmental growth community in Cornwall, and as well as being their design partner (naming, branding and developing their web and physical presence) I was stoked they were up for partnering on this event. It’s the first of more events and workshops that we’ll be running with them, with a B Corp day hopefully happening in June too.”

– Matt Hocking, Leap

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“Today’s event has been extremely valuable for me because it’s totally explained the SDGs in detail and I’ve been able identify the areas of my business that are working really well and where we’re already meeting the SDGs, and particularly areas that aren’t. For me, the areas that I need to develop are sustainable food production, develop quantity and quality of reliable sustainable infrastructures and implement integrated water resource management wgich has been really fantastic because I can identify that and move forwards with my B Corp and SDG aspirations.”

– Rebecca Varcoe, Innoscent Cleaning

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“We’re a company with about 100 people across six offices in the UK. We’re now going through a road map process to set out exactly where we’re going for the next 5-10 years. Within that, our vision of where we want to be as a business relates directly to the Sustainable Development Goals, so we want to see exactly the main areas that we can influence to help benefit the staff within the company, but also externally – the new partners that we work with and how we can influence the sector, be it to improve the quality of the environmental standards, if you improve the quality of education and bringing people into the sector as new employees, and really to influence the built environment for the better.”

– Scott James, Ward Williams Associates

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I’ve been here today to get a feel for what’s going on with the Sustainable Development Goals and how we can integrate them into our business. We’re very well aware of those already in the space industry, especially the space port, as we are publicly funded which means that we have to represent the local community and make sure that they’re happy with what we’re doing – which a lot of them weren’t! Many people are very confused about Cornwall Council’s declaring a climate emergency and then going on to support a space port, which seems at odds to it. I think there’s a misunderstanding of what space technology is, and what space is doing for benefiting life on Earth; everything from facilitating and improving our communications and making people more aware of what’s going on around the world, but also tracking the impact of climate change in real time, and in a way that’s unbiased as well, so that policy makers are getting real time and unbiased data that they can use to inform policies. It also impacts areas from healthcare to making agriculture more efficient. Space technology and data is changing the way that we’re living. We’ll be the first space port anywhere in the world to have an ethical framework but to also have a complete sustainability action plan, including a full and ongoing carbon assessment of what we’re doing as well as being committed as a site to being the most sustainable launch location in the world. And that isn’t just about the technology being greener, cleaner and more reusable, it’s about everything that we do from the team down to the site and our location, working with communities, but also, right down to our marketing materials and merchandise that we’re selling. It’s about everything that we’re doing across the piece, and this isn’t just about us trying to say that we’re all holy and doing it, but we’re actually believing in it and we believe that Cornwall has an opportunity to then challenge the rest of the industry, because space is actually quite a polluting industry. We just want to do things differently. Due to this we’ve been asked to be involved in the UN’s committee on the peaceful use of outer space, so I’ve gone along to workshops to provide recommendations on how do we keep space peaceful, and that’s one of the SDGs, and how can we look at peace in space. But also, as a space port, what do we allow into space? Do we have a role to play, and that’s where the ethical framework can come in. What are we allowing into space, and will we turn business away, potentially, if it doesn’t fit with that? As much as people probably don’t think that we’re involved in sustainability, space and space ports have a massive role to play.”

– Melissa Thorpe, Spaceport Cornwall

You can find out more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals here, and keep updated on future LEAP events and workshops by keeping an eye on the events section at the top of our blog page.