The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have become a major aim in most of the industries operating all around the world. The most prominent importance of the SGD goals can be traced in the Healthcare and the Life Sciences Industry. The purpose of this report is to reflect upon how the SDG’s of UN are being implemented within the Healthcare and the Life Sciences Industry. The main findings of the report are that the most important goals of the UN within the selected industry are good health and wellbeing, portable water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production. The report discusses how these goals are incorporated in the daily operations of the healthcare and life science industry.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals that provides a global blueprint for dignity, prosperity and peach for people and the planet, at present and in the future. These are the goals that help in providing support to people for lifting themselves out of the underlying issues and face the challenges to enjoy an opulent life. The initiatives taken by United Nations define the 17 Goals, which includes areas like climatic alteration, economic disparity and supportable consumption among other priorities. These goals are consistent and the achievement of one involves undertaking issues related with another. The Sustainable Development Goals report of 2017 has provided an insight into the achievement as well as the progress needed to be accomplished in the future. The following report will highlight on the discussion of the three key SDGs, that is, Good Health and Well Being, Clean Water and Sanitation and Sustainable Consumption and Production, followed by their implementation strategies and evaluation indicators.
The SDGs are also known as the Global Goals which calls for a collective action to end all social differences, safeguard the planet and to make sure that all people are able to experience peace and prosperity leading to a collective development on a global scale (Axon and James, 2018).
In spite of the people leading healthier lives today, there are still some sections of the population which are suffering from preventable diseases and some of them are even dying from it. In order to overcome this problem the Health and the Life Science Industry is focussing on overcoming the diseases by implementing concentrated and sustained efforts which will concentrate on the population as well as the regions which have been neglected. The implementation of this goal is bound to have a positive impact on the population as well as the environment because the entire purpose is directed towards a sustainable development which will ensure the wellbeing of the people which at the same time will lead to positive impact on the environment as well because supportable modes of production will be utilized to achieve the goal.
There are lots of individuals who still suffer from lack of admission to portable drinking water and sanitation amenities. It often leads to water scarcity and lack of proper waste management which obstructs the social and economic development (Pink, 2016). In the year 2015, about 29 per cent of the population lacked access to portable drinking water and 61 per cent of the population were still practicing open defecation.
The health and the life science industry aims to incorporate this UN goal by striving to increase water efficiency and water management in order to deal with the growing demand for portable water across various sectors. Such a goal is likely to have a positive impact on both the population as well as the environment. Clean drinking water will promote a healthier lifestyle to the population while it will also benefit the environment by making it pollution free.
The third goal is responsible consumption and production. The economy of almost every country around the world is suffering from an imbalance between economic growth and utilization of resources. Merging them is one of the most important goals of the UN which is being implemented in the health and life science industry (Turker, 2018). The sector is striving to realize this goal by formulating policies which is likely to create a conducive environment to bring about this change. It will have an optimistic influence on the environment as well as the population because it will ensure sufficient amount of food for the population and the methods of food production will also be as per the environment rules and regulations. It will be ensured that no harm is caused to the environment in the process of food production.
As stated by Costanza et al., 2016, warranting healthy lives and endorsing well being at every age is essential to sustainable development. To achieve the target of improved sanitation and hygiene, access to treatments, reducing pollution and others, many efforts have been taken by UN. It has collaborated with Governments, civil society and technology provider to enhance their health and nutrition and impart family planning information and practices to decrease illness and malnutrition. Various collaborations with health industry and research organisations have been made to develop advanced remedial treatments for infectious and non-communicable diseases including treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Moreover, the working conditions of the employees across the value chain have been improved and healthcare services and insurance has been provided to them and their families.
Hutton and Varughese, (2016) opined that clean and accessible water is essential water is the basic need of live and the planet has sufficient fresh water for fulfilling this need. However, the poor infrastructure has led to rise of diseases related to insufficient water supply, sanitation and hygiene. To develop the sanitation and accessible clean water, investment in management of freshwater ecosystems and sanitation facilities in developing countries of Central and South-Eastern Asia and in Sub- Saharan Africa. Support from the health ministry, private health providers and communities to reduce water consumption during treatments and facilities and safely manage medical waste to evade impurity of water sources. Most importantly, WASH pledge of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development for companies is been given emphasis to device admission to experience access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at the workplace.
Sustainable consumption and production deal with promotion of resources and energy efficiency and providing access to better life quality and satisfactory jobs. To achieve this goal, collaboration with the stakeholders has been made to encourage healthy lifestyles and develop defensive healthcare for decreasing the resource load of curative healthcare. Investment has been made in telehealth and telecare to safe the patient travel time and improves quality of care and simultaneously refining sustainability. Significant focus on the operations of supply chain has been given by educating consumers on sustainable consumption and lifestyles and furnishing them with information of standards and labels of sustainable gaining. Development and implementation of developed processes to reduce, reuse and recycle water, raw materials, energy inputs, non-renewable resources, non-hazardous waste and packaging has been done for increasing quality of life (Lukman et al., 2016).
The appropriate targets and indicators for the evaluation of the strategies of Sustainable Development for the Health Care and Life Science Industry are explained as follows:
Good Health and Well Being: The indicators for ensuring Good Health and Well Being will be in the form of outcomes of healthy lives and promotion of well being for the people of ages. The UN has set up 13 Targets and 28 Indicators for Good Health and Well being. UN has targeted to decrease the global maternal maternity ration to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030. UN has aimed to end avoidable death of newborns and children less than 5 years and lessen neonatal mortality to 12 per 1000 live births per year across all countries. It has sought to fight communicable diseases and end the epidemic of HIV across the world by reducing the level of globally infected adults to 0.20 per 1000 people by 2030 (Dora et al., 2015).
Clean Water and Sanitation: As stated by Fuller et al., (2016), UN’s Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water initiative implemented by WHO has targeted to enlarge international collaboration and capacity building support to the developing countries for water and sanitation based operations like water harvesting, desalination, water efficacy, wastewater management and others by 2030. It has targeted to support and brace the contribution level of the local communities in developing water and sanitation management.
Sustainable Consumption and Production: UN has ensured to achieve Sustainable Consumption and Production by implementing 10 year framework of programs within all the countries through national policies, poverty lessening strategies and development plans. It has aimed at achieving sustainable management and well-organized utilization of natural resources by 2030. Moreover, it has set to reduce the per capita food waste at retail and consumer level by Food Loss and Waste protocol. By 2030, it has aimed at substantially reducing waste through National waster generation and National recycling rate for particular materials and sectors (Fuchs and Boll, 2018).
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Industry Matrix for Health Care and Life Science is the contribution of the shared efforts of KPMG and the UN Global Compact. The SDG Industry Matrix aims to motivate and inform the Health and Life Sciences Industry with three selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the form Good Health and Well Being, Clean Water and Sanitation and Responsible Consumption and Production. The matrix by the recognition of the opportunities in the industry and provides the organization with specific ideas where the companies functioning in the Health and Life Science Industry create value for the stakeholders and the society. The opportunities in the form of collaboration with the United Nations, the Governments, the Health Insurers and technology providers for the three mentioned goals in the form of improving the Health and Well being of the population through the increased application of the preventive actions.
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