The Sustainable Development Goals are celebrating their 6th birthday on 26 September! Here's why these goals are so important and what we are doing to reach them:
From 25 to 27 September 2015, the 193 UN member states met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. They had one intention - to improve the global situation of the world and humanity. A total of 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the world were adopted. The 2030 Agenda was born and came into force on 1 January 2016. Annual global CO2 emissions had climbed to 35 million tonnes that year.
The member states agreed to work towards the goals by 2030. Areas such as the economy, social affairs and ecology were put under the microscope and given plenty of targets. This time, topics such as human rights, the rule of law, good governance, peace and security were also on the agenda. The list of good intentions grew longer and longer. And the feeling when looking at the colourful pictograms was a good one, as they offered an all-encompassing problem-solving concept at a glance.
Ending poverty in all its forms and everywhere, healthy life for all and water and sanitation. These are just three essential points enshrined in the SDGs. It is everyone's responsibility to do their best to achieve these goals.
We at HELIOZ are already doing this in many ways. Especially when it comes to water supply, our company plays an important role. We provide clean drinking water for more than 100,000 people. But water supply alone does not solve the problem. People need to be educated. In our projects, we also inform people about the importance of water disinfection, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH measures) in rural communities in Asia and Africa.
With the systematic conversion of water treatment through our WADI device, communities gain simple access to clean drinking water with little effort. We are introducing solar water disinfection (SODIS) combined with the WADI as an effective, sustainable, low-cost, and environmentally friendly method in households. This method allows us to reduce CO2 emissions and indoor air pollution. Previously, families used firewood to boil and disinfect water. Reducing firewood saves homes up to USD 50 per year. It also protects local forests. In Bangladesh, for example, WADI saves up to 6500 tonnes of firewood.
People's health also improves as a result of WADI technology. In many cases, dirty water leads to diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, and polio. Through WADI technology, these diseases can be prevented. In Uganda, for example, we achieved a disease reduction of 80%. It also results in lower health costs for families. In India, for example, 27 USD are saved annually due to improved health. And those who are healthy are better able to perform tasks. School and work attendance is increasing again in the communities. This is especially important for the inhabitants.
What is important to us as a company is equality. That is why we work with girls and women to support and inform them. In addition to educational workshops on menstrual hygiene and water quality, we encourage them to provide their families with clean drinking water. This gives them a more excellent status in their communities.
Through our projects in Asia and Africa, we have also recruited 15 community workers to work on conservation and health in the communities.
As HELIOZ, we actively focus on 9 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and are proud to contribute to reaching them.