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Tag: 2019 CR3+ Conference (page 1 of 2)

The CR3+ Conference is coming up!

The CR3+ Conference, hosted by La Trobe Business School, is just two weeks away. Where is this conference about? Why is this conference so important? What are some of the highlights?

What is CR3+?

Initially, Audencia Business School (France), Hanken School of Economics (Finland) and ISAE FGV (Brazil) decided to cooperate in their implementation of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). This collaboration resulted in the joint organisation of an international conference on Corporate Responsibility, named CR3. When La Trobe Business School became a signatory of PRME, they joined CR3 and so CR3 became CR3+1. The aim of these four PRME champions is to exchange ideas, pedagogical processes, curriculum and research in the area of corporate responsibility.

2019 CR3+ Conference

On the 24th and 25th of October, LBS is hosting the seventh CR3+ Conference. The theme of the conference is Using dialogue to build partnerships for sustainability.

CR3+ logo - Using dialogue to build partnerships for sustainability

As we work towards building a more sustainable world we cannot work in isolation. Partnerships are necessary to ensure long term success. However, the partnership model may be problematic, with issues arising such as co-option and abuse of power. Differences between actors can also lengthen the journey and make the measure of success difficult to determine. Hence, this conference explores how partnerships can bring about sustainable solutions as we work together on progressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

LBS has arranged a fantastic line-up of keynote speakers, panel discussants and other presenters.

Keynotes

Professor Dennis McDermott, La Trobe University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), will be giving an academic keynote on partnerships, with a focus on the role of indigenous values in framing our understanding and implementation of partherships.

Jillian Reid, Principal in the Responsible Investment Team at Mercer, will talk about investing in a time of climate change, the growth in sustainability themed opportunities, and the role of the sustainable development goals in investment decision-making. 

Dr Leeora Black, Principal Risk Advisory at Deloitte Australia, is an expert on the Modern Slavery Act, and she will be speaking about new and different kinds of partnerships that are being driven by the Act.

Workshops

The workshop Exploring challenges and priorities of embedding SDGs in business schools using Lego SeriousPlay© is an interactive, action-based workshop facilitated by Heather Stewart and Rob Hales from Griffith Business School. This collaborative style of working on individual and group levels is proven to extend ideas, views and often break down assumptions in a safe and non-judgemental environment. The aim of the workshop is to develop new skills in resilience, creativity and lateral thinking in order to employ and establish sustainability within business schools.

Prof. Nava Subramaniam from RMIT and Dr. Raghu Raman from Amrita University are facilitating the workshop Amrita Live-In-Labs, which introduces Live-in-Labs® – a multidisciplinary experiential learning program that breaks down classroom and lab barriers by applying learned theory in real-world settings. This credit-based academic program draws on principles of lean research for the development and deployment of sustainable solutions for current challenges faced by rural communities in India. By directly living in rural communities (labs) and co-designing solutions to development challenges, program participants gain first-hand knowledge and know-how of identifying and assessing community needs and subsequently developing and implementing viable solutions through various participatory methods.

#CR3LTU

LBS will be using #CR3LTU on Twitter to keep you updated on speakers, presentations and other great conference moments. Join in and share your views and best moments of the conference too!

Our Partners

La Trobe Business School recognises and appreciates the support of its PRME partners and Mercer and Lifeskills in the delivery of this exciting event.  

We’re looking forward to welcome you to the conference!

1Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Placing Sustainability at the heart of management education (2017). Edited by Principles for Responsible Management Education. New York: Routledge.  

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 15

SDG 15 - Life on Land

Preserving diverse forms of life on land requires targeted efforts to protect, restore and promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and other ecosystems. Sustainable development goal fifteen (SDG 15) focuses specifically on managing forests sustainably, halting and reversing land and natural habitat degradation, successfully combating desertification and stopping biodiversity loss (UN Statistics Report, 2019).

The facts

Forests cover 30% of the earth’s surface and are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Forests provide vital habitats for millions of species, and important sources for clean air and water, as well as being crucial for combating climate change. Also humans depend on forests for their livelihoods – an approximate 1.6 billion people (UNDP, 2019).

Furthermore, the United Nations Development Programme (2019) lists that:

  • Mountain regions provide 60-80% of the earth’s fresh water
  • Plant life provides 80% of the human diet
  • Humans rely on agriculture as an important economic resource, with 2.6 billion people depending directly on agriculture for a living.
  • The value of ecosystems to human livelihoods and well-being is US$125 trillion per year.
  • Nature-based climate solutions can contribute about a third of CO2 reductions by 2030.

Australia’s progress on SDG 15

“The main pressures affecting the Australian environment today are the same as in 2011, climate change, land-use change, habitat fragmentation and degradation and invasive species.”

State of the Environment Report (2016)

In Australia’s Voluntary National Review into the implementation of the SDGs, the government recognises the links between biodiversity, economic activity, and health and wellbeing.  This requires a multiple-stakeholder approach to addressing SDG 15, including businesses, environmental non-government organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, community groups and individuals. In other words, everyone has an interest in maintaining the health and productivity of the land, but particularly those who derive their income and employment from it or have a cultural connection. However, the most recent State of the Environment Report (2016) found that Australia’s biodiversity is under increased threat and has, overall, continued to decline. More than 1,700 species and ecological communities are known to be threatened and at risk of extinction.

In terms of deforestation, some complexity exists in measuring overall forest area owing both to definitions and technical improvements in methods. Nonetheless, the consensus is that forest area is in decline and this trend is expected to continue in the absence of regulatory change. By one international measure, Australia now ranks among the top nations for deforestation (Transforming Australia Report, 2018). Notwithstanding the deterioration in biodiversity and increased deforestation, there are a number of initiatives under way that aim to address these, including The National Landcare Program, The Australian Business and Biodiversity Initiative, The Responsible Wood Certification Scheme, Digital Earth Australia and legislation including the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Agribusiness at La Trobe

The agricultural sector is one of Victoria’s biggest export earners and has been identified as one of the most promising sectors for Australia’s regional economy. Hence, there is strong demand for industry professionals who have skills in areas such as agribusiness and rural banking, export business and government agencies.

La Trobe Business School launched the Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness) in 2017 and is taught at all Regional Victorian La Trobe University campuses including Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga and Mildura. During the degree, students do not only develop skills in financing, marketing and managing agricultural businesses, but also, in line with SDG 15, focuses on creating responsible, engaged and innovative graduates equipped to help farmers improve their food production sustainably and reduce the impact on declining resources (learn more about the degree here).

SDG Video

The video on SDG 15 is produced by our CR3+ Partner Audencia Business School from Nantes, France.  In the video, Dr Céline Louche discusses the sustainable development goal in depth, explains what terrestrial ecosystems are and what the role of businesses is regarding SDG 15. In the second part of the video, Céline interviews Rémi-Pierre Lapprend – CSR Manager at Maisons du Monde a French furniture and home decor company. The company sees SDG 15 as a framework that provides objectives and a vision regarding sustainable sourcing of wood – the most important natural resource the company uses. Through certification such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest (PECF), traceability programs set with Non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and working with experts on deforestation and biodiversity for the Maisons du Monde Foundation, the company ensures that wood that is used does not contribute to deforestation.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.

More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 8
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 9
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 10
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 11
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 12
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 13
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 14

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 11

SDG 11 - sustainable cities and communities

Sustainable development goal eleven (SDG 11) is about sustainable cities and communities, which includes making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The facts

Did you know that:

  • Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today and by 2030, it is estimated that six out of 10 people will be city dwellers.
  • The world’s cities occupy just 3% of the planet’s land but account for 60-80% of all energy consumption and 75% of the planet’s carbon emissions.
  • Close to 95% of urban expansion in the coming decades will take place in the developing world.
  • Rapid urbanisation is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment and public health.
  • Our rapidly growing urban world is experiencing congestion, a lack of basic services, a shortage of adequate housing, and declining infrastructure.
  • Thirty percent of the world’s urban population lives in slums, and in Sub-Saharan Africa, over half of all city dwellers are slum dwellers.

The focus of SDG 11

Today, cities are well recognised as centres of innovation, investment, and play a priority role in driving industrialisation and economic growth in both developed and developing countries alike. Urbanisation plays a critical role in facilitating and ensuring that rural/urban connections that support a balanced territorial development are in place. Cities are therefore well positioned to take the lead in addressing many of the persistent global challenges including pollution, climate change, resilience and environmental degradation, road safety, urban mobility, traffic management, poverty, inequality, unemployment, crimes and security, etc. Cities are also key to finding solutions for new and emerging challenges, which the world is facing, from stemming the rise of plastic waste in our oceans to the introduction of new technologies as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (UN Habitat, 2019).

SDG 11 targets relate to eliminating slum-like conditions, providing accessible and affordable transport systems, reducing urban sprawl, increasing participation in urban governance, enhancing cultural and heritage preservation, addressing urban resilience and climate change challenges, better management of urban environments (pollution and waste management), providing access to safe and secure public spaces for all, and improving urban management through better urban policies and regulations (SDG Knowledge Platform, 2019).

Technology and SDG 11

A key trend in sustainable cities is the massive rise in technology, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), expecting to connect everything in a city – from the electricity grid to the sewer pipes to roads, buildings and vehicles.

Smart cities

Governments and researchers since the 1990s have been using the term ‘Smart Cities’ because it could help certain cities to distinguish and promote themselves as innovative. A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently.

Examples of Smart City initiatives include the city of Barcelona, where a new bus network based on data analysis of the most common traffic flows in Barcelona and the integration of multiple smart city technologies allows buses to run on routes with the most green lights.  In Stockholm, the Green IT program seeks to reduce environmental impact through IT functions such as energy efficient buildings (minimising heating costs), traffic monitoring (minimising the time spent on the road) and development of e-services (minimising paper usage). An alternative use of smart city technology can be found in Santa Cruz, California, where local authorities analyse historical crime data in order to predict police requirements and maximise police presence where it is required (World Economic Forum, 2018).

It is important to remember that the challenge of sustainable cities is not simply about developing new technological solutions to long-standing problems. Rather, success in this sphere will be achieved only by balancing the demands of social and economic development with careful environmental management and innovative urban governance.

Systems approach

Thinking about the other 16 SDGs, it is clear that SDG 11 has the potential for inter-linkages and taking a real systems approach. For example, natural disasters and other climate impacts are endogenous to development – they are not a separate issue to be considered independently (i.e. SDG 11 and 13).  Effective, inclusive development in cities will need to consider the needs of people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups (i.e. SDG 11 and 10). Indeed, it is important to take a systems approach to the implementation of SDG 11, and the other SDGS, which suggests that sustainability can only be achieved by first recognising and then balancing the trade-offs among the various goals across environmental, economic and social systems.

Smart education

Smart cities and technological interconnectedness also impact education, recognising the need for education programs producing graduates with modern knowledge, practical skills and collaborative attitudes. LBS is at the forefront of this so-called “smart education”. LBS is a Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champion, which means our students are taught to become responsible leaders who are informed and capable of balancing the demands of business with economic, social and environmental sustainability, undertaking innovative projects that respond to future systemic challenges (read more about our PRME commitments here). In addition, LBS developed new degrees such as the Bachelor of Business Analytics and the Bachelor of Digital Business to provide students with the skills necessary to work and live in a smart (city) environment.

SDG Video

The video on SDG 11 is produced by LBS and shows Dr Swati Nagpal and Paul Strickland. Swati firstly discusses the importance of cities – they make us more productive and creative and are the key social and organising units of our time – and talks about the SDG 11 targets, the stakeholders involved, and the concept of smart cities. Paul focuses on the Kingdom of Bhutan and their experience and dealing with rapid growing urbanisation, the country’s pioneering role in the development of the Gross National Happiness Indicator – measuring the collective happiness and wellbeing of the population – and the country’s 2020 vision around waste management, greening the construction industry, and conservation.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.

More blogs in the SDG Series:

- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 8
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 9
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 10

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 10

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

The 2030 Agenda calls for a “just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met” (SDG Knowledge Platform, 2016). This call comes at a time when, despite important gains made since 2000 in lifting people out of poverty, inequalities and large disparities remain in income and wealth, and in access to food, healthcare, education, land, clean water and other assets and resources essential for living a full and dignified life.  

The facts

Economic inequality is largely driven by the unequal ownership of capital. Since 1980, very large transfers of public to private wealth occurred in nearly all countries. The global wealth share of the top 1 percent was 33 percent in 2016. In addition, in 1980 the top 1 percent had 16 percent of global income, while the bottom 50 percent had 8 percent of income. In 2016, 22 percent of global income was received by the top 1 percent compared with 10 percent of income for the bottom 50 percent.

There is also inequality between the different genders. Women spend, on average, twice as much time on unpaid housework as men. Also, women have as much access to financial services as men in just 60 percent of the countries assessed and to land ownership in just 42 percent of the countries assessed (UNDP, 2019).

The focus of SDG 10

Some groups including those in rural areas (e.g. family farmers), women, young people, people with disabilities, indigenous peoples and others have persistently clustered at the bottom of distributions. Real wage growth has constantly declined since 2015 and at the same time, a warming climate, demographic change, decent work deficits, political crises, technological change and conflict risk exacerbating inequalities if actions are not taken toward equality in both opportunities and outcomes. Such inequalities can become self-perpetuating across generations, thus hindering progress towards one of the central objectives of the 2030 Agenda – that of ‘leaving no one behind’. Understanding that development is not sustainable if people are excluded from opportunities, services, and the chance for a better life; sustainable development goal ten (SDG 10) calls on the international community to “reduce inequality within and among countries”.

The 10 targets within SDG 10 cast a wide net to capture multiple drivers of inequality and to ensure that no group or individual is left behind. Four targets address within country inequality across social, economic and political dimensions aiming to expand prosperity, inclusion, and social protection. Three targets aim to reduce inequality among countries with attention to cross-border flows of finance and people and the distribution of voice in global institutions. Three other targets focus on the means of implementation and put forward concrete steps for attaining greater equality by directing resource flows toward those most in need (World Bank, 2019).

SDG 10 progress in Australia

In Australia, the period from 2000 to 2015 was characterised by strong economic growth that led to a substantial rise in average incomes. However, income increases did not lead to a reduction in income and wealth inequalities, with the Gini index – a common measure of inequality – remaining reasonably constant over this period. Using the Gini index, wealth inequality (0.6) is shown to be significantly higher than income inequality (0.3). Australia remains more unequal than most developed countries, limiting opportunities for many and undermining sustainable development.

Social exclusion fell prior to the global financial crisis, but has since increased. Unemployment benefits have fallen to be more than 20% below the poverty line. The gender pay gap has barely reduced in 20 years, and large gender inequalities remain at home, in the workplace and in society.

Since 2000, real disposable income per capita has grown by 29%, but there has been no increase over the last five years. As wages growth has slowed, many families struggle with rising energy and housing costs. There has been growth in employment and some fall in unemployment, but this has been offset partly by higher underemployment. Many Australians would like to work and earn more. For those workers with low skill levels, the opportunities to retrain throughout their working lives are limited, and home ownership is increasingly elusive for young people (Transforming Australia Report, 2018).

How is this relevant to business?

Addressing inequality makes good business sense because it increases economic participation and helps build markets and prosperity. Long term viability is only possible when the world is thriving, but the world cannot fully prosper when large population groups lack reasonable paths to success.  Diversity of background and experience within an organisation stimulates innovation and fresh thinking. It creates a more attractive work environment that in turn helps to attract and retain talent. Diversity can be thought of as a multi-faceted competitive advantage (GCNA Australia, 2018).

Equality and diversity are strategic business issues. It has been well demonstrated that businesses that embrace workplace diversity and inclusion are more innovative and outperform in organisational effectiveness and profitability. Corporate social responsibility is becoming a critical factor to a growing number of global investors and the capital markets.

Extract from joint letter from Australian business leaders in support of marriage equality to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (2017)

SDG Video

The video on SDG 10 is created by our CR3+ partner ISAE Brazilian Business School (ISAE). The video shows Rithyane Cardozo discussing SDG 10 and interviewing Marcia Ponce from the Caritas Institute and the work they do in Curitiba, Brazil. Caritas is an international organisation that fights issues of inequality. The interview is about how Caritas works towards SDG 10 by looking at economic inequality but also inequality because of environmental issues, and inequality for immigrants and refugees.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019. 

More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 8
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 9

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 9

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important, as are the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies (SDG Fund, 2019).

The facts

Industrialisation drives economic growth, creates job opportunities and thereby reduces income poverty. Innovation advances the technological capabilities of industrial sectors and prompts the development of new skills.  Infrastructure provides the basic physical systems and structures essential to the operation of a society or enterprise. Sustained investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. However, basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries (SDG Knowledge Platform, 2019).

At the moment, 2.3 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation. In some low-income African countries, infrastructure constraints cut businesses’ productivity by around 40 percent. Moreover, 2.6 billion people in developing countries do not have access to constant electricity, and more than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet – of which 90 percent are in the developing world. There are opportunities too. The renewable energy sectors currently employ more than 2.3 million people, which could reach 20 million by 2030. Also, in developing countries, barely 30 percent of agricultural products undergo industrial processing, compared to 98 percent high-income countries, which suggests that there are great opportunities for developing countries in agribusiness (UNDP, 2019).

The focus of SDG 9

The focus of sustainable development goal (SDG) 9 is to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. These pillars all share the objective of achieving socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic development. Realizing SDG 9 by 2030 requires overcoming resource constraints, building and strengthening developing countries’ capacities, and exploring innovative ways to solve development challenges. SDG 9 has approximately 20 targets and indicators related to its three pillars and is closely linked to other SDGs related to job creation, sustainable livelihoods, improved health, technology and skills development, gender equality, food security, green technologies and climate change (SDG Knowledge Hub, 2019).

Implications for business

Ageing, degraded or non-existent infrastructure makes conducting good business challenging. Business relies on materials, resources, labour and service support from all corners of the world and the ability to access them efficiently is key to establishing new markets. Computing and technology-based skills are of significant value to most businesses today, and consumers of common goods and services live on every continent. However, basic infrastructure supporting technologies, communications, transportation, and sanitation that business relies on is not universally available, hindering economic growth and societal progress. Promoting sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research and innovation, are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development (SDG Fund, 2019).

Promoting innovation

More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the internet. Bridging this digital divide is crucial to ensure equal access to information and knowledge, and consequently foster innovation and entrepreneurship. This presents an opportunity for business. By committing to sustainable industrialization and promoting innovation across company operations, businesses can contribute to development efforts in the regions in which they operate through upgrading local infrastructure, investing in resilient energy and communications technologies, and making these technologies available to all people, including marginalized groups, who might not have access otherwise. Global companies can also promote inclusive infrastructure development by bringing valuable financial services and employment opportunities to smaller and/or minority-owned businesses (SDG Compass, 2019).

Delivering infrastructure

Leadership on SDG 9 represents a significant market opportunity for businesses in other ways too. For example, retrofits and installation of new infrastructure is a market worth $3.7 trillion annually. Delivering this infrastructure can allow businesses to access new markets for their products and services, as well as access to underserved labour markets and resources, while respecting international standards for environment and social impacts. The transition to a green, resilient industrial and infrastructure base globally represents a significant investment opportunity with large rewards for businesses that can position themselves at the leading edge of the sectors that must deliver it (SDG Blueprint for Business, 2017).

Interconnectedness to other SDGs

Action on SDG 9 is strongly interconnected with many other SDGs, most notably SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities, and SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production. Efforts to create new opportunities for innovation and employment in developing countries directly relate to SDG 8. Infrastructure-dependent SDGs including those relating to food (SDG 2), water and sanitation (SDG 6), energy (SDG 7), and climate action (SDG 13) will also benefit from action on SDG 9. Leading action must be managed such that it does not risk exacerbating existing inequalities, or creating new ones, and so that it is not contributing to any form of corruption and violation of human rights that would negatively impact on a range of SDGs (SDG Blueprint for Business, 2017).

SDG Video

The video on SDG 9 is created by our CR3+ partner ISAE Brazilian Business School (ISAE). The video highlights two projects that are related to SDG 9. The first project is called Jardins de Mel, which involves placing bee boxes in areas such as parks, schools and community gardens. The project raises awareness about the environment, the contribution of insects to maintaining life, pollination and the importance of ecosystem services. The second project is a start-up from Curitiba in Brazil that used renewable energy technology to create a mini-plant that generates energy from water and then returns 100% of the water back to its source.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019. 

More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 8

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 8

Sustainable Development Goal 8 - decent work and economic growth

Over the past 25 years, the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the long-lasting impact of the economic crisis of 2008/2009. In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment – a number that has almost tripled between 1991 and 2015. However, as the global economy continues to recover we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities and employment that is not expanding fast enough to keep up with the growing labour force (SDG Fund, 2019).

The facts

The International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 100th anniversary was commemorated in April this year at the UN Headquarters in New York, where the United Nations’ Global Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés noted that, despite the 180 ILO conventions, ranging from gender equality to forced labour, “injustice is still a reality for millions”. Some of the figures are:

  • Over 40 million people today are victims of modern slavery, which is more than twice the number involved in the transatlantic slave trade.
  • Many more women than men are underutilized in the labour force – 85 million compared to 55 million.
  • 190 million people are unemployed worldwide, a third of whom are young.
  • 300 million people make up the working poor, half of whom are young.
  • Some 700 million workers lived in extreme or moderate poverty in 2018, with less than US$ 3.20 per day.
  • 2 billion people are engaged in informal work, often without social protections.

María stressed that issues of social justice will become “even more important” as the world of work changes (SDG Knowledge Hub, 2019; UNDP, 2019).

The focus of SDG 8

The focus of sustainable development goal eight (SDG 8) is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. SDG 8 contains a number of targets indicating the type and scale of economic growth desired. These include ensuring economic growth is faster (at least seven per cent per year) in the least developed countries and requiring that the growth is aligned with development-oriented policies such as supporting start-ups and SMEs, the eradication of modern slavery, and the prioritisation of high quality jobs.

How can business be involved?

As employers, creating decent jobs is one of the fundamental ways in which businesses support economic growth and sustainable development, but it is also how companies support and drive their own future development.

What is decent work?

Decent work, as defined by the ILO, is work that is productive and delivers a fair income; security in the workplace; social protection for families; better prospects for personal development and social integration; freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives; and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men (SDG Blueprint for Business, 2018).

UN Guiding Principles & SDG Blueprint for Business

A way of providing decent work is through the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; a set of guidelines for States and companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed in business operations (find the document here). Further, the SDG Blueprint for Business outlines four key ways that businesses can focus their actions on SDG8:

  • Support decent working conditions for all employees across the business and supply chains, with partnerships to build suppliers’ capacity to do the same.
  • Educate and train the labour force, focusing on vulnerable and economically disadvantaged groups.
  • Create decent formal-sector jobs in labour-intensive sectors, especially in least-developed countries.
  • Drive economic growth and productivity by investing in R&D, upgrading skills, and supporting growing businesses, in a way that is compatible with sustainable development.

SDG Video

The video below is created by our CR3+ partner Hanken School of Economics (Finland). The video focuses on the targets set for SDG 8. Firstly, the video features Professor Emeritus Jeff Hearn, Research Director of the GODESS Institute, a research and development institute that focuses on research areas of Gender, Organization, Diversity, Equality, and Social Sustainability in transnational times (Hanken, 2019). Jeff looks at “what is work?” and more importantly “what is decent work?”. Professor Emeritus Niklas Bruun, Chair of Board of the GODESS Institute, continues the discussion on decent work as outlined by the UN and explains the aims of the International Labour Organisation. Lastly, Charlotta Niemistö, Director of the GODESS Institute and Project Leader of Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WeAll), discusses sustainable economic growth and social and human sustainability.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.
More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7

Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

The aim of sustainable development goal seven (SDG 7) is ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. At the moment however, there is a wide variety across countries, and the current rate of progress falls short of what will be required to achieve this goal. Redoubled efforts will be needed, particularly for countries with large energy access deficits and high energy consumption (UN SDG Indicators, 2019).

The facts

One in 7 people still lack electricity and most of them living in rural areas of the developing world. More than 40 percent of the world’s population (3 billion) rely on polluting and unhealthy fuels for cooking. And, as the population continues to grow, so will the demand for cheap energy, and an economy reliant on fossil fuels is creating drastic changes to our climate. The share of renewables in final energy consumption is modestly increasing (from 17.3 per cent in 2014 to 17.5 per cent in 2015), but only 55 per cent of the renewable share was derived from modern forms of renewable energy.

There have been improvements in recent years:

  • From 2000 to 2016, the proportion of the global population with access to electricity increased from 78 per cent to 87 per cent, with the absolute number of people living without electricity dipping to just below 1 billion.
  • From 2000 to 2016, the electricity access rate increased from 60 per cent to 86 per cent in Southern Asia and from 26 per cent to 43 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Global energy intensity decreased by 2.8 per cent from 2014 to 2015, double the rate of improvement seen between 1990 and 2010 (UN SDG Knowledge Platform, 2019).

The focus of SDG 7

The targets set to be achieved by 2030 include universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services, increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, energy efficiency improvements, investments in clean and renewable energy and energy infrastructure.

Affordable and clean energy has come one step closer due to progress in electrification, particularly in least developed countries (LDCs), and improvements in industrial energy efficiency. However, national priorities and policy ambitions still need to be strengthened to put the world on track to meet the energy targets for 2030 (UN SDG Knowledge Platform, 2019).

Reaching SDG 7 is also crucial to achieving many of the other SDGs – from poverty eradication via advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialization to mitigating climate change.

The Energy Security Trilemma in Australia

Securing an affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible energy sector is a huge challenge for policy makers, also in Australia. In the face of rapid technological change in the energy sector, policy needs to evolve to achieve three objectives:

  • Meet Australia’s Climate Change commitments under the Paris Agreement;
  • Ensure stable supply of energy so the ‘lights don’t go out’ (again);
  • Mitigate rising electricity costs, particularly for vulnerable and elderly households (Pursuit, 2017).

While access to electricity is near universal in Australia, the retail price of electricity has more than doubled in the past decade. This means Australians now pay higher electricity prices than most other OECD countries. Rising retail energy prices are placing low-income households under significant financial pressure. The 20% of Australian households with the lowest incomes are spending 4-5% of their household budget on electricity alone. Additionally, low-income Australians often live in poorly insulated and energy-inefficient houses and are less likely to be able to afford solar panels and other high-cost items that help reduce energy bills, such as energy-efficient water heaters and appliances.

Australia remains highly dependent on fossil fuels, with renewable energy making up just 7.5% of the total final energy consumption for 2014. However, the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target and state–based actions are now driving substantial investment in renewable electricity generation and renewables are likely to account for 23% of electricity generated by 2020.

While this is good news, energy policy after 2020 remains uncertain. An absence of federal incentives for renewables means that investment will rely on state policies and commercial returns, putting future levels of investment and emission reduction targets at risk (Transforming Australia Report, 2018).

SDG Video

The video on SDG 7 is created by our CR3+ partner Hanken School of Economics (Finland). In the first part of the video, Professor Peter Björk talks about the General Assembly’s decision in 2015 to make energy part of the SDGs and discusses the Accelerating SDG7 Achievement document released in 2018. This publication includes 27 policy briefs by global energy authorities from the UN System, international organizations, Member States and others. It proposes a new Global Agenda for Accelerated SDG7 Action as a clear roadmap towards achieving universal energy access by 2030 and maximizing its positive impact on other SDGs (Division for Sustainable Development Goals, 2019). According to Peter, the document gives a good overview of what has been done between 2015 and 2018 to achieve SDG 7 and more importantly, what still needs to be done to achieve this SDG. In the second part of the video, Peter focuses on energy systems and interviews Jukka-Pekka Niemi from Wärtsilä, a partner company of Hanken School of Economics that produces and sells energy solutions. The interview focuses on Wärtsilä’s strategy in leading the energy sector’s transformation toward a 100% renewable energy future.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019. 
More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6

Sustainable Development Goal 6

Having clean water isn’t something we often have to think about in Australia. We have always expected clean water to be provided by our cities. Something that we don’t often realise is that there is a global water crisis happening in most countries around the world.

The facts

Many people still lack access to safely managed water supplies and sanitation facilities. Ensuring universal safe and affordable drinking water involves reaching over 800 million people who lack basic services and improving accessibility and safety of services for over two billion. In addition, water scarcity, flooding and lack of proper wastewater management hinder social and economic development. Some numbers:

  • In 2015, 29 per cent of the global population lacked safely managed drinking water supplies, and 61 per cent were without safely managed sanitation services.  In 2015, 892 million people continued to practise open defecation.

  • In 2015, only 27 per cent of the population in least developed countries (LDCs) had basic handwashing facilities.

  • More than 2 billion people globally are living in countries with excess water stress, defined as the ratio of total freshwater withdrawn to total renewable freshwater resources above a threshold of 25 per cent. Northern Africa and Western Asia experience water stress levels above 60 per cent, which indicates the strong probability of future water scarcity.

  • In 22 countries, mostly in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region and in the Central and Southern Asia region, the water stress level is above 70 per cent, indicating the strong probability of future water scarcity.

  • By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will suffer recurring water shortages.

Increasing water efficiency and improving water management are critical to balancing the competing and growing water demands from various sectors and users (The Sustainable Development Goals Report, 2018).

The focus of SDG 6

Progress in nutrition, health, education, work, equality, environmental protection and international cooperation are all related to the availability and sustainable management of water and universal access to effective systems for disposing of our waste. The first two targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 encompass the core focus on water, sanitation and hygiene. Targets also include water provision beyond human use and interaction, and towards structural, ecosystem and governance needs regarding water management. At the same time, demand for water – from agriculture and industry as well as domestic use – is rapidly rising and water pollution and ecosystem degradation are being made worse by increasing amounts of untreated wastewater. And all of this is happening against a backdrop of climate change, which is playing havoc with the predictability of our most precious resource (UN Water 2018).

Leaving no one behind – Indigenous Australians and SDG 6

Despite Australia meeting the targets of this development goal, why do health issues related to water and sanitation continue to persist among remote indigenous Australian communities?

While the majority of Australians have access to safe drinking water, for many remote indigenous communities, the water supplies are unacceptable. In Western Australia, only 19% of remote Indigenous communities reported 100% microbiological compliance between 2012 and 2014. One in five of these communities also reported unsafe levels for nitrates or uranium.  For example, Trachoma is a bacterial infection associated with extreme poverty and generally occurs in areas with water scarcity, inadequate sanitation, and overcrowding. In 2016, trachoma was reported in indigenous communities in NSW, SA, WA and the NT, where 4.7% of children aged 5–9 years were estimated to have active trachoma (Transforming Australia Report, 2018). Research recommends that multifaceted health promotion interventions are the most likely to improve water-related health outcomes in these communities. This includes encouraging behaviour change, infrastructure maintenance, and a broad program targeting sanitation, nutrition, education and primary health care (UQ Global Change Institute, 2017).

SDG Video

The video on SDG 6 is created by our CR3+ partner ISAE Brazilian Business School (ISAE). Representatives of the university visited Sanipar, one of the largest sanitation companies in the country, and interviewed Prof Norman de Paula Arruda Filho, President of both Sanepar and ISAE Business School. Sanepar’s goal is to achieve universal environmental sanitation, completing the “river to river” cycle. The company defines itself as an environmental company; working toward the conservation of nature and prioritising sustainability (Sanepar Annual Report, 2018). In this video, Norman gives his view on sustainable development goal six, using the Iguaçu River in the state Parana as an example. He talks about the residential use of the river, the industrial use (mainly for generating energy), but also how the river is important for tourism. He emphasises the importance of education regarding the use of the river’s water and the need to collaborate on the access to waterways such as the Iguaçu River.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.

More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5

While some forms of discrimination against women and girls are diminishing, gender inequality continues to hold women back and deprives them of basic rights and opportunities. Empowering women requires addressing structural issues such as unfair social norms and attitudes as well as developing progressive legal frameworks that promote equality between women and men (SDG Knowledge Platform, 2019).

The facts

Gender equality is a fundamental and inviolable human right. Yet women around the world continue to face significant economic, social, and legal barriers to equality. Women are more likely than men to be unemployed, to be overrepresented in low wage jobs, to hold fewer managerial, entrepreneurial and leadership positions, and on average, to only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In 18 countries, men can legally prevent their wives from working. Women continue to bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work and often experience maternity-related discrimination. Women entrepreneurs also face particular challenges to building and growing their businesses including lack of access to financing and business networks. In fact, less than 1% of spending by large businesses on suppliers is earned by women-owned businesses (UNGC, 2018).

The focus of SDG 5

The aim of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (SDG Knowledge Platform, 2019). The targets related to SDG5 are broad and include:

  • Ending discrimination, violence, harmful practices against women and children.
  • Ensuring full and active participation in decision-making in all spheres of work.
  • Providing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
  • Undertaking reforms to improve women’s’ access to economic resources, ownership and control.
  • Improving access to enabling technology.
  • Strengthening policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment.

Australia is Not Winning at Achieving Gender Equality

A recent report published by the Sustainable Development Institute on Australia’s progress on the SDGs shows that progress is being made in  the areas of health and education, but not in terms of gender, climate change and housing affordability. In relation to SDG 5, the research found:

  • Only 11 women lead ASX200 companies.
  • Only 32% of Australian parliamentarians are female.
  • Women continue to face far greater economic insecurity than men. This is particularly evident at retirement, when women’s superannuation balances are just 42% that of men’s.
  • The gender pay gap has barely reduced in 20 years.

The burden of unpaid domestic duties still falls predominantly to women, with only 12% of men undertaking more than 15 hours of household chores each week, compared with 33% of women. In addition, the proportion of women and girls subjected to physical, sexual and psychological violence remains unacceptably high. Domestic and family violence remains the leading cause of death and disability for women aged 18 to 44.

LTU and SDG 5

“La Trobe is committed to achieving equality of opportunity in education and employment. We strive to create and support a safe, equal and inclusive community, where staff and students of all genders have equal access to power, resources and opportunities, and are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.”

LTU Diversity & Inclusion

La Trobe University has several initiatives that drive gender equality, including:

  • Workplace Gender Equality Agency – Employer of Choice: The University was awarded a second, consecutive prestigious citation from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Gender. The citation recognises LTU’s efforts to support gender equality, including the development of a Women in Research Strategy, scholarships for undergraduate women supporting gender diversity and social inclusion, introduction of flexible workplace practices, access to child care support, and our proactive stance on violence against women prevention.
  • Women’s Academic Promotions Support Program: The program is designed to demystify the promotion process and provide peer support through senior mentors and mentor groups, has resulted of an increase in the number of academic promotion applications received from women.
  • Square the ledger: In its 50th year, La Trobe partnered with the Victorian Women’s Trust to embark on a project to ‘square the ledger’by documenting and celebrating the ordinary and extraordinary lives of women who have walked the halls of the University — as students, educators, and administrators.
  • Male Champions of Change: LTU’s Vice Chancellor, Professor John Dewar is a gender pay equity ambassador with WGEA, a member of the Male Champions of Change and Chair of the Women’s Economic Security Committee.

SDG Video

The fifth video in the SDG series was produced by our CR3+ Partner Audencia Business School from Nantes, France. In the video, Dr Céline Louche explains the objective of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.  She covers the facts and figures, the targets for SDG 5, and the role that business can play. Business can focus on women in leadership, equal remuneration for women and men, diversity and equal opportunities, childcare services and benefits, workplace violence, and harassment. Dr Louche also interviews Christine Naschberger, Professor of Management and Human Resources at Audencia Business School, on gender equality in the workplace, how gender inequality manifests itself in that workplace and the importance of networking.  

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019. 
More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4

“We cannot have young people growing up without the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be productive members of our society. Our societies cannot afford it. And neither can business. Business needs a creative, skilled, innovative workforce. … And investing in education creates a generation of skilled people who will have rising incomes and demands for products and services – creating new markets and new opportunities for growth… Corporate philanthropy is critical, but we need more companies to think about how their business policies and practices can impact education priorities. You understand investment. You focus on the bottom-line. You know the dividends of education for all.”

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The facts

Since 2000, there has been enormous progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. Enrolment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91% in 2015 and the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half. However, more than half of children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa (41%), Northern Africa and Western Asia (52%), the participation rate in early childhood and primary education is low. A report from 2016 shows that in the least developed countries, only 34% of primary schools had electricity and less than 40% were equipped with basic handwashing facilities (SDG Goals Report, 2018).

The focus of SDG 4

The aim of sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4) is to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Achieving this reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education (UNDP, 2019).

While education is the focus of SDG 4, it is closely interlinked with all the other SDGs and plays a crucial role in supporting their implementation.  Evidence shows that higher levels of education have a profound effect on improving health outcomes (SDG 3). Providing quality education also opens the door to future job opportunities which can help reduce inequalities (SDG 5 and 10), alleviate poverty (SDG 1), drive economic growth (SDG 8), allow individuals to access basic amenities such as nutrition and sanitation (SDG 2 and 6), and contribute to building a more peaceful society (SDG 16) (UN Global Compact, 2019).

La Trobe Business School and SDG 4

La Trobe University was founded half a century ago to broaden participation in higher education and has done so for many thousands of students who would otherwise have been excluded from the opportunities provided by a quality university education.

Aligning with targets to achieve SDG 4, La Trobe Business School and the University more broadly have significant policies and programs that encourage and support an accessible, inclusive and equitable quality education for disadvantaged and vulnerable populations including people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, first in family, out-of-home care backgrounds (care leavers), refugee children and disadvantaged children from regional and rural areas. It is also significant to note that almost 50% of La Trobe Business School students are from a first in family background.

Thus, the La Trobe University motto “Qui cherche trouve” (Whoever seeks shall find) remains as relevant today in terms of accessibility to a high-quality tertiary education.

CR3+ network

The development of the videos on the 17 sustainable development goals, showcased in this blog series, was a collaborative effort between LBS and three other business schools from around the world, or the CR3+ network.  This CR3+ partnership is another way in which LBS is demonstrating its commitment to SDG 4. Namely, building our international networks and focusing on SDG 4 on a global scale through our research, teaching and outreach activities as part of the CR3+ network.

SDG Video

The fourth video is created by our CR3+ partner ISAE Brazilian Business School (ISAE). The video features Maria Gloss, director of Education and Culture Sector of the Hospital Pequeno Príncipe talking about education being the “raw material of life” and what education means to children in a hospital environment. The video also features Maria Silva, secretary of education of the municipality of Curitiba, the largest city in the Brazilian state of Paraná. Maria talks about some of the 206 actions, programs and projects the municipality is involved with and their connection to SDG 4.

Please enjoy the presentation:



This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019. More blogs in the SDG Series:
- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
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