Agreed at the United Nations in 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, and fight climate change, all by 2030. These 17 goals apply to urban areas, but Goal 11 specifically focuses on making cities “inclusive, safe, strong and sustainable”.

Cities are home to two-thirds of the G20 countries population and while these cities are responsible for over 70% of planet-warming emissions, they are the foundation for making the SDGs a reality. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that two-thirds of the 169 targets under the goals will not be reached without the involvement of local governments. In the United States, where 85% live in urban areas, only a few major cities have taken a step on tackling climate change.

Training is the key in unlocking all difficulties that may rise while implementing and monitoring the SDGs. CSE has more than 10 years of executive sustainability education in the United States and with its Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program is coming back to Houston. The Advance Sustainability Practitioner Program focuses on SDGs and provides sector based case studies and research on crucial sustainability issues.

As one of the cities to be one step ahead, Houston is creating an Energy Efficiency Incentive Program and launching a Green Office Challenge! As Sylvester Turner, Houston’s mayor, Said in an interview right after Harvey: “We are going to take it day by day, week by week. But at the same time, this is a “can do” city.” In addition, better jobs, education, social unity and safer housing limited the human impact of disasters, enabling Houston to protect its residents and development gains.

To be able to localize the SDGs, local engagement is necessary since there seems to be a lack of data to monitor how the goals are being implemented at city level. Citizens, companies/ organizations and Governments need to be educated and trained to effectively understand the targets set by the SDGs. Join the CSE Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program in Houston, Sept. 27-28, 2018 and learn all about the new hottest trends such as UN SDG’s and the new GRI Standards.

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