The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have helped us to frame our thinking and guide our decision-making on our own sustainability journey. It’s great to see many of our colleagues in the construction industry publicly commit to the UN SDGs, focusing on the areas where they can best make an impact.
The SDGs aim to provide peace and prosperity for all people and the planet for today, tomorrow and far beyond. The SDGs recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations go hand-in-hand with initiatives that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and promote economic growth – all whilst tackling climate change and working to preserve our natural landscape and eco-systems upon which we heavily rely on, more than many of us realise.
As an organisation right at the heart of the construction industry we’re proud to share our industry colleagues’ commitment to both sustainable development and sustainable construction. Collaboration and partnership across multiple programmes initiatives and with many industry bodies, have been part of our DNA for over 40 years.
Target 17 of the UN SDGs places the focus on working in partnerships to achieve the goals. This specifically relates to strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development. In simple terms: “Alone we can take small steps, but together we can make giant leaps.”
I believe this collaborative approach has been key to the success of the programmes we have delivered through our work on the community based initiatives across the Sultanate.
Here are a couple of examples. Our partnerships with The Omani Women’s Association Duqm and The Omani Women Association Al Jazer have positively impacted local communities and relate to UN SDGs 3 and 4 – good health and well-being, and quality education. I think we can all agree that everybody deserves access to these things.
Each of the 17 targets contains sub-targets. Target 17.8 aims to strengthen the science, technology and innovation capacity for least-developed countries. To support these goals we work with NGO’s and schools to provide laptops for education to girls and boys.
More than that, we work with these partners to continually improve the way we build and deliver these programmes, and our shared learnings help us to better meet the needs of these young people, something most people will feel morally obliged to do.
As a business we’re committed to protecting, restoring and promoting our contribution to life on land. For example, goal 15 has given us the opportunity to create awareness and educate our employees, we have been successfully implemented a number of programmes across all our projects in particular at the Duqm Refinery (target 15.9).
These programmes include community development activities, and directly support goals 3, 4, 7, and 13. I’ve been fortunate enough to see first-hand the difference these projects can make, and the impact is impressive.
This year we’ve been delighted that we have won the ‘CSR Initiative of the Year’ for the fourth year running at the Construction Week Oman Awards. It was also an honor to receive ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Sustainability Initiative of the Year’ category of the Construction Week Oman Awards 2021.
As the UN states:
“A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the center, are needed at the global, regional, national and local level.”
It’s time to act now and act together – a shared vision and goals will enable us all to work towards a world where we will all benefit from a sustainable future.