50 years of the UNDP and the role of companies in sustainability goals


The United Nations Development Program, the UNDP, has ambitious goals for global sustainability for 2030. And International Paper, which also works with a focus on sustainable development through initiatives centralized at the International Paper Institute, is consolidating its actions as a company, working with targets very similar to those established by the UN, aimed at reducing energy costs and wasting of resources.

At the start of the year, celebrations kicked off for the 50th anniversary of the UNDP, United Nations Development Program, which aims to propose global actions for a more economically sustainable world, while paying constant attention to social and environmental issues. To commemorate, the UN established a global agenda of goals for 2030, based on 17 fundamental principles of sustainable development, guaranteeing a better future for the next generations.

These 17 macro goals include actions that contribute to eradicating poverty, promoting health and well-being, gender equality, inclusive education and other items such as sustainable and rational management of natural resources, adaptation of industrial and commercial processes, more conscientious and safer consumption, improved energy efficiency, lower costs and minimized losses.

These last few issues are in line with Sustainability goals at International Paper, which created an agenda for 2020 with goals to optimize resources on various fronts of action. “Developing sustainability is crucial to the success of business, since customers, shareholders and suppliers are increasingly worried about establishing business relations with companies that are conscious of their social responsibility,” says Gláucia Faria, Sustainability and CSR Manager at International Paper Institute.

Yet, within principles as general as those set forth by the UNDP, what is the role of civil society, of governments and of the private sector in guaranteeing a more sustainable world? Governments need to formulate public policies that assure sustainable development, prioritizing preservation of natural resources and adoption of ethical and transparent conduct in their actions. Likewise, it is up to companies to structure and align procedures in an effort to minimize impacts on the communities where they operate, whether environmental, social or health impacts.

And how does International Paper act within this global context? Goals were introduced at IP that should be met by every unit worldwide by 2020. The company believes that commitment to sustainability starts in the forest, but does not end there.  “Sustainability goals are global and give the company a direction to follow towards our desired destination, maintaining productivity but minimizing impacts and environmental and social risks. That is why each action developed represents a step towards fulfilling this overriding goal,” explains Gláucia.

It is through the International Paper Institute that the company shows how it can provide a return to local communities, through socio-educational and environmental actions, two of the pillars chosen as principals for the Institute’s action. In addition, the company is working on the issue of sustainability on various fronts, touching on every stage of the production chain, including end use, recycling and correct disposal.

Remembering the 12 Sustainability goals at International Paper for 2020

IP goals are very similar to the global goals established by the UNDP, since they are a reflection of the needs of the planet and of society in general. Take a look:

2020 Voluntary Goal overview (002)

1 – Improve energy efficiency by 15%

2 – Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%

3 – Prioritize an accident-free workplace.

4 – Globally increase third-party certifications (fiber) by 15%

5 – Reduce fiber lost in the manufacturing process, adjusting it to global levels of less than 0.75%

6 – Reduce pollutant emissions by 10%, aligning the company’s energy efficiency initiatives

7 – Reduce mill wastewater disposal by 15%

8 – Reduce Water Consumption: Map water usage in manufacturing and strategic planning to reduce use.

9 – Increase recovery of old corrugated containers by 15%, by exploring new uses and minimizing re-usable items sent to landfills

10 – Reduce overall waste at factories

11 – Establish a standard of performance for the supply chain and implement improvement plans.

12 – Measure and report on the results of social initiatives supported by IP in the areas of education, health and services in the communities where we operate.

“It is important to note that as a company, we are also responsible for using natural resources rationally and sustainable and we spare no effort in doing this,” says Gláucia, underscoring the importance of each person doing their part, since transformation starts with small actions. “The company has global goals for social responsibility, but we also have our responsibilities, at home, in our families, at school. Sustainability is found in all of our actions,” she says in closing.

Want to see how IP’s goals are similar to the UNDP goals? Go to: http://www.pnud.org.br/ods.aspx


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