June 12, 2020

Sustainable Development Goals & Earth Charter

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The Sustainable Development Goals & The Earth Charter

Let me just dive in: Sustainable Development has not been moving fast enough in our societies to thrive and shift the World into a more Eco based one. Thus, sustainable Leadership is about the Ego2Eco Shift: from Ego centred behaviour (more money, more materials, more everything) to Eco – healthy ego and equality between humans and nature (see picture Ego to Eco). It is the Key shift of intra-generations (between humans and nature) and inter-generations (between current and future generations). It is key because it is the only way we can enhance and stimulate real sustainable development, rather than another mere CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy in a company. However, only a few have made this shift in real life, and thus, a big task for us all lies ahead.

After all, at some point, sustainability is going to become a morally-just set of behaviors, based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Earth Charter (EC) Principles. The SDGs are from the United Nations, whereas the EC principles are based on years long dialogues with citizens around the globe, including religious, spiritual and indigenous leaders. Which makes it more holistic, and value based, than the SDGs which are more pragmatic and goal orientated.

So what are the SDGs? And what Are the Earth Charter Principles?

The SDGs are 17 principles based on sustainable development notions of the United Nations:

1.No poverty;
2.Zero Hunger;
3.Good Health and Well-being;
4.Good quality education;
5.Gender Equality;
6.Clean Water and Sanitation;
7.Affordable and Clean Energy; 
8.Decent Work and Economic Growth;
9.Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure;
10.Reduced Inequalities;
11.Sustainable Cities and Communities;
12.Responsible Consumption and Production;
13.Climate Action;
14.Life below water;
15.Life on land;
16.Peace, Justice and Strong institutions;
17.Partnerships for the Goals.

The Earth Charter Principles are divided under 4 pillars:

1.Respect and Care for the Community of Life;
2.Ecological Integrity;
3.Social and Economic Justice;
4.Democracy, Non-Violence and Peace.

Where the SDGs are the pragmatic clear-cut goals, are the Earth Charter Principles the moral and ethical guidelines on how to get there. Basically, the SDGs are the top of the iceberg, the conscious decisions, where the EC principles are the base of the iceberg, the unconscious shift necessary for real sustainable development. In this line, we can state that the Ego2Eco moral shift starts with the EC principles, shifting the unconscious, and the practical tools on how to get it into practice are the SDGs.

All these principles, both from the SGDs and EC, can be combined and compared with one another. In addition, they also strengthen each other when both are taken into account, because like I said, the EC principles are the unconscious, moral, ethical base, for the SDGs to work in real practice. Both stimulating the necessary Ego2Eco shift we all need to make in order to save ourselves and our precious Mother Earth.

How to put this yourself into practice and how to put the Ego2Eco shift in motion? Check out the 7 Principles of Ego2Eco in Sustainability and/or mail us for individual and/or group coaching and trainings. 

Picture: Pinterest.

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