Source – The progress highlighted in UN’s SDG Knowledge Platform website was used to form this table https://sustainabledevelopment.un.orgAs you can see, only 4 of the SDGs have made a positive progress in the last 5 years. Whereas 9 of them have shown mixed results and 4 are signaling a declining trend. So, the question then is, why hasn’t significant progress been made on achieving the SDGs? It could be that countries aren’t making serious enough commitments. Private companies could be using SDGs as a global PR stunt, rather than make any meaningful strides to solve the problem. Off the bat, it is not clear what the root cause of the issue is. But one thing is certain, we cannot continue business as usual. Well, we can, but that could mean not being able to achieve majority of the SDGs and risk causing irreversible damage to our planet. What do we do then? To start off with, if the SDGs are to succeed, it will depend on continued advocacy for each of its targets. Countries and companies will also need to start adopting meaningful and achievable short-term targets. This will allow us to be flexible and help in identifying roadblocks a lot quicker. Finally, goals and targets can become meaningless if there are no consequences. But the question is, are companies going to wait for regulations to make them adopt SDGs or are they going to be proactive? By the same token, as private companies come under increased global pressure, what role will the trade associations play?