At the beginning of this year the United Nations published the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whereby the sustainable development on the levels of economic, societal and ecologic should be ensured until 2030. The SEKEM Initiative realized the importance of sustainable development already 39 years ago and is trying to implement this development by a holistic approach, especially in Egypt.
Recently, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the UN and the Bertelsmann Foundation published the “SDG Index and Dashboards – Global Report”, a report on the current state of affairs in the various countries worldwide. According to the report, Egypt is on place 66 of 149 countries. The analysis should support the countries in implementing the SDGs. “We are pleased that governments around the world are already and concerned with the new goals and also looking for ways to integrate them into their planning processes”, so the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Sustainable food production
Also SEKEM takes the opportunity to promote previous activities and shows at the same time that the Initiative is already committed to each of the individual objectives. The obvious goal is certainly No. 2: End hunger and achieve food security. Through Biodynamic agriculture and a closed value chain, food can be sustainably produced and distributed. Herewith, job opportunities are created.
SEKEM is also concerning about a healthy life and the well-being for all people of all ages (sustainable goal No. 3). In this regard, SEKEM founded the Medical Center, which treats more than 40,000 people annually. Not only the employees of SEKEM, but also the people from the surrounding villages of the SEKEM Farm use the service of the Medical Center. SEKEMs various schools, the Vocational Training Center and the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development provide quality education, so that future generations will be able to face the challenges of Egypt and to improve their own living conditions. Thus SEKEM accomplishes the requirements of sustainable goal No. 4.
Also the role of women (goal No. 5) is still a problematic issue in many countries around the world. By SEKEMs “Gender Strategy for a Balanced Society”, which was published in 2015, gender equality and empowerment of women should be promoted for a sustainable equitable society.
Many partners – one vision
Another goal of the United Nations is the protection of terrestrial ecosystems whose restoration and sustainable usage. This includes, according to sustainability goal No. 15, combating desertification and promoting biodiversity. In 2015, SEKEM was awarded with the “Land for Life Award” for its efforts in combating soil erosion by applying sustainable Biodynamic farming methods.
Goal No. 17 for sustainable development deals with the setup of global partnerships. With the foundation of SEKEM, a global network has been emerged, which represents the same values and promotes them on an international level. Banks that relied on sustainable development and ethical business practice, such as the GLS Bank, Triodos, Oikocredit or DEG support SEKEM and its vision of a sustainable economy since the beginning. And many customers from around the world doing fair trade with SEKEM, which is essential for sustainable development.