What are the SDGs and why do they matter?

Have you noticed that many of Take 3’s education and community programs are ‘aligned with the SDGs’? Do you know what that means and why it matters? Read on to find out more.  

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, were established in 2015 by the 193 countries that make up the United Nations.  They are a call-to-action for people everywhere to resolve the social, economic and environmental problems troubling the world. They are, in effect, a shared vision to end poverty, restore the environment and build a peaceful, equal and just world. 

Why are the SDGs needed? Since the industrial revolution there has been unprecedented economic growth around much of the world. Many people have benefited from this growth but, at the same time, many people have been left behind to live in poverty with a lack of opportunity, equality or justice. This non-stop drive for economic growth has caused environmental damage to the extent that we threaten to exceed the planetary boundaries within which humanity can comfortably live, now and into the future.  The current climate change crisis is an example of how easily these boundaries can be exceeded if we don’t manage our development sustainably.  

So what exactly is ‘sustainable development’?  In this context, sustainable development can be thought of as ‘development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. In particular, we need to shift to sustainable production and consumption. 

What are the goals? There are 17 SDGs that cover all aspects of life on our planet, including poverty, education, human rights and gender equality. Embedded into each goal is the requirement to ensure lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.  

Which SDGs are relevant to Take 3? Take 3 supports all 17 SDGs but our work is most closely aligned to five of them 

4 Quality Education: Take 3 teaches people about the impact of litter on the environment and the importance of responsible waste management. Through educational programs and awareness-raising campaigns, Take 3 reminds us of the beauty of the oceans and our collective responsibility to protect the animals that live there.


11 Sustainable Cities and Communities:  A clean and healthy environment contributes to everyone’s well-being and helps to create vibrant and liveable communities. Take 3 encourages everyone in towns, cities or rural locations to keep their local environment clean and litter-free. 


12 Responsible Consumption and Production:  Take 3 encourages people to adopt responsible consumption habits and to think about the waste they produce and how it affects the planet. We encourage responsible waste management in order to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or polluting our oceans. 


14 Life below Water:  Litter in the ocean and waterways can harm marine life, disrupt food chains, and damage habitats. By removing just three pieces of litter and disposing of them properly, everyone can help protect our oceans and preserve the diversity of marine life. 


17 Partnership for the Goals: Ending poverty, restoring the environment and building a peaceful, equal and just world is a massive undertaking that will require ‘all hands on deck’. Take 3 is committed to working with partners across all sectors to achieve these challenging goals.  



Excited to learn more and support the SDGs?