SDG 8, “decent work and economic growth” aims to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. SDG 8 is crucial for reducing poverty, raising living standards, and advancing economic growth on a global scale. Infrastructure, health, and education can all benefit from economic growth, but this growth must be sustainable. Ecological, social, and economic concerns must all be balanced for sustainable economic growth. In addition to making sure that resources are used effectively and waste is kept to a minimum, it must encourage employment, respectable labour, and entrepreneurship. It must also be accomplished without harming the environment or using up natural resources.
SDG 8 acknowledges that businesses must be involved if sustainable economic growth is to be achieved. Businesses are essential for fostering innovation, job creation, and economic progress. They have to do it responsibly and sustainably, though. Businesses can improve their reputation, competitive advantage, and long-term profitability by prioritising sustainability and social responsibility.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of SDG 8 and provide five sustainable business strategies for businesses to achieve this goal. We will also share how our partner, CONA Solar contributes to SDG 8.
Sustainable Business Strategies for SDG 8
Businesses today are becoming more and more aware of the value of sustainability and the role they can play in fostering a better future for all. There are various tactics that businesses may use to promote sustainability and support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, from lowering their carbon footprint to promoting education and skill development. Businesses can attain the five sustainable business strategies listed below to contribute to SDG 8.
- Create decent work opportunities: Businesses can create decent work opportunities by offering fair wages, safe working conditions, and opportunities for training and advancement. This not only helps achieve SDG 8 but also helps improve the overall well-being of employees and their families.
- Promote diversity and inclusion in the hiring process: In addition to being morally good, embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace has a lot of advantages for organisations. Businesses may build a more innovative and productive workforce, ultimately supporting SDG 8, by encouraging equitable opportunities, eradicating biases, and establishing a welcoming atmosphere for all employees.
- Investing in employee training and development programs: It is important for businesses to provide their staff with training and development opportunities to aid in the acquisition of new skills and knowledge. By fostering the development of a highly competent workforce, this can not only serve to improve employee engagement and retention but also contribute to the growth of the entire economy.
- Adopt renewable energy early: Businesses can lessen their carbon footprints and help to ensure a sustainable future by investing in renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydro power. As renewable energy costs decrease over time, this may also lead to cost savings. Besides, investing in renewable energy promotes just transition, creating decent job work opportunities in the green economy.
- Practice sustainable supply chain practices: Businesses shall assure sustainability along their whole supply chain by cooperating with vendors who follow morally and environmentally sound business practises. This entails using ethically sourced resources and cutting waste during production, which can save prices and boost overall effectiveness.
Case study: BBC’s partner, CONA Solar contributes to SDG 8 by promoting sustainable economic growth with renewable energy technology in Central America.
Carpenters in Central America have had a difficult time finding equipment that is both economical and effective for drying wood. The region’s humid climate makes it challenging to produce high-quality furniture, which has an impact on the industry’s ability to compete on the worldwide market. A solar wood-drying system was installed by the renewable energy business CONA Solar as a solution to this issue. This case study investigates how the solar wood-drying system has aided in resolving issues experienced by Central American carpenters and how it has advanced the realisation of SDG 8.
In Central America, the furniture business is prospering, with talented craftsmen building fine furniture for domestic and international markets. However, the region’s frequently humid weather conditions make producing goods of superior quality challenging. The wood used to make furniture is typically too young and too moist, adversely affecting the end product’s quality and tensile strength. Additionally, it is challenging for carpenters in the area to compete with larger furniture producers in Europe and other regions of the world since they need more funds to establish a professional timber yard or buy wood-drying equipment.
Carpenters in Central America faced a huge obstacle: a need for appropriate wood-drying equipment. Most wood used for furniture was air-dried, exposing it to the local humidity. As a result, the wood was frequently overly wet, making it challenging to deal with and resulting in lower-quality goods. Additionally, it took a lot of work for carpenters to make high-quality furniture for the home market and furniture suited for export due to a lack of appropriate wood-drying equipment. Additionally, the cost of importing and maintaining the carpenters’ woodwork dryers available in Europe was too prohibitive for most of the tradespeople in the area to afford.
BBC’s partner, CONA Solar, designed and installed a solar wood-drying system to alleviate the difficulties faced by carpenters in Central America. Carpenters in rural places can utilise the system because it was made to be user-friendly, inexpensive, and even able to run without electricity. The solar wood-drying system lowers operational expenses by using solar energy to power the drying process. Additionally, the method is built to dry wood uniformly, reducing the possibility of warping and splitting, which are frequent issues with air-dried wood. With this method, Central American carpenters can now make products of top quality for meagre operational expenses, increasing their marketability.
The sun wood-drying technology has had a substantial impact on Central American carpenters. They can now make high-quality furniture that satisfies export standards and high-quality clients for the domestic market thanks to the system. The solar wood-drying technology has also significantly decreased running costs, making it more accessible to local carpenters. Compared to significant furniture producers in Europe and other parts of the world who have access to pricey wood-drying machinery, this has helped level the playing field. The usage of fossil fuels, which are frequently utilised in conventional wood-drying equipment, has been lessened due to the solar wood-drying system, which has also positively affected the environment.
Moreover, CONA Solar’s solar wood-drying system has created new opportunities for carpenters in the region. With the ability to produce high-quality furniture, carpenters can now expand their customer base and export their products to other countries. This has increased economic growth in the region and provided more job opportunities for local carpenters. CONA Solar’s solar wood-drying system has not only helped address the challenges faced by carpenters in Central America but has also positively impacted the environment and the local economy.
Ultimately, by fostering sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all, CONA Solar’s solar wood-drying system has not only addressed the difficulties experienced by Central American carpenters but also contributed to the realisation of SDG 8. Carpenters in the area now have access to a cost-effective and practical technology that has allowed them to compete on an equal footing with larger furniture producers in Europe and other regions. As a result, there has been a rise in economic growth, job possibilities, and more sustainable production methods.
Businesses must take proactive and innovative action to achieve SDG 8. Our partner, CONA Solar, illustrates how they use innovative technology and renewable energy to solve the carpenters’ problems, promote sustainable economic growth, and increase work opportunities. The company’s creative, innovative and entrepreneurship mindset have influenced the carpenter community to address their challenges in a planned and sustainable way too.
We are the exclusive distributor of our partner CONA Solar in Asia. Contact us now to learn more about CONA Solar and its technology.
Goal 8 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal8