Sustainable development goals as part of the planning of own operations

16.9.2022 16.15

On NGO Day (Espoon järjestöjen päivä), we got to know the sustainable development tool. The tool helps to understand how the UN's 17 sustainable development goals can be utilised in planning, implementing and evaluating organisational activities.

The city of Espoo is committed to achieving the UN sustainable development goals as a pioneer, according to the goal set in the Espoo Story. We must cooperate and increase awareness widely across the entire Espoo community to reach the goal. We have learned that people genuinely want to shift their operations towards sustainable actions. Still, they struggle with complex information provided by various authorities. Our solution was to present a tool any organisation can use to learn about sustainable development. It helps to define priorities and unique features that support sustainability and UN Agenda 2030.

Agenda 2030 is a sustainable development action plan adopted by the UN member states, which contains 17 goals. The sustainable development goals, SDG, are to be achieved by 2030.

A simpler version of the analysis tool developed in Espoo helped non-governmental organisations and associations to link the UN's sustainable development goals as part of their own activities. In the workshop held on NGO Day, the possibilities offered by the tool were introduced, and there was a discussion about the importance of NGOs and associations in achieving the goals of sustainable development.

More than twenty NGO and city representatives participated in the workshop, and experts from the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development were facilitators of the workshop. The workshop and the tool received a positive reception. The participants were able to think about the goals of their own activities and their relationship with the UN's sustainable development goals.

At the beginning of the workshop, the UN Agenda 2030 action plan, sustainable development goals and the sustainable development work of the city of Espoo were briefly presented. The workshop was interactive, where participants could fill out a printed paper on the analysis model. The model consisted of four steps:

  1. Own definition of the objective of the activity
  2. Effects of own operations on sustainable development
  3. The interaction between own activities and the UN's sustainable development goals
  4. Realisation of the interaction

Based on the feedback, the workshop and the task were interesting and stimulating - even though the analysis process was challenging. It required the participants to think more broadly about the interactions between their own activities and the dimensions of sustainable development. The workshop's goal was to review and analyse the UN's sustainable development goals from organisations' activities and to provide participants with tools for using the framework, indicators, and vocabulary.

You can implement the same exercise in your organisation using the instructions and template attached in the article. We encourage everyone to think about their own core goals in relation to the SDG goals. It is empowering to recognise the impact of own work on global goals.

Additional information

Ville Taajamaa

Project Manager040 508 3806

Suvi Jäntti

Project coordinator+358405794840

Tereza Dickson

Coordinator (communications and marketing)040 631 3101
  • Sustainability