Event: 'How sustainable is our prosperity?'

This morning, the event ‘How sustainable is our prosperity’ took place in The Hague, which was organized by Building Change and the SDG Charter, in collaboration with Global Compact Network The Netherlands and several other organizations. The event was devoted to the question ‘How are the SDGs being implemented in and through The Netherlands and what can we do together to achieve the world we aim for in 2030?’

The event took off with Jan-Pieter Smits (CBS) taking us through the results of both reports ‘Monitor Brede Welvaart en Duurzame Ontwikkelingsdoelen’ and the third SDG report ‘Nederland Ontwikkelt Duurzaam’ which were published yesterday by the CBS and PBL. He shared that on certain aspects of our prosperity (SDG 3, SDG 9) we can see a positive trend, though there are quite some aspects that we should be worried about, including the environmental and climate factors , which need more focus of all of us. 

Board member of Global Compact Network Netherlands and SDG Coordinator the Netherlands Hugo von Meijenfeldt briefly reflected upon these results, and asked the public ‘How is it possible that we still score so terrible on many of these environmental factors?’ He also shared that it is very much bothering him that our Dutch global footprint remains too large. He concluded that there is a need for accelerators to speed up the sustainability transition. Moreover, he referred us to the SDG Routemap which highlights the biggest challenges on the way to achieve the SDGs and aims to achieve the best opportunities together.   

During the panel discussion, our Global Compact Network Netherlands’ Executive Director Eppy Boschma participated to represent the Dutch corporate sector. She emphasised the importance of staying away from taking a negative stance in this very important sustainability discussion, and that we should focus and continue to have fun in achieving these goals. Moreover, she explained that also in the that was published at the end of 2018 also shows that awareness on and implementation of the SDGs is increasing in the business sector. Despite the many challenges that are still there to tackle, she points out that there are even more chances to collaborate, also with young professionals, to achieve Agenda 2030. 

Meanwhile, Talitha Muusse, the energetic moderator of the event, was asking all participants sharp questions. ‘Aren’t we too much focussed on publishing these reports, instead of taking the action we need to achieve the goals?’ was her main concern. 

During three debates, SDG 5 gender equality, SDG 7 affordable and clean energy, and SDG 13 climate action were discussed further. 

The question that was raised during the event by one of the speakers was: can we and will we? Global Compact Netherlands Network says definitely yes!


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