“The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.” — United Nations
In this article:
What are Sustainable Development Goals?
What we are focusing on:
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13: Climate Action
Sustainable Development Goals…what are they?
The United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core as an urgent call for all developed and developing countries to form a global partnership and work together to be part of the solution to save our people and our planet.
Whilst these goals are primarily aimed at countries and their governing bodies, every single one of us can influence change and be a part of the solution. That being said, there are some businesses that are paving the way in setting and achieving their SDGs. Unilever, for example, has created a dedicated platform on their website — ‘Planet & Society’ to provide resources for their community to be able to make sustainable living more commonplace, as well as providing information as to what their SDG targets are for each goal and how they are working towards this.
LEGO is also setting inspirational goals in line with SDGs 4 and 12 and is sourcing innovative ways to continue to educate and entertain children whilst recycling and sourcing more sustainable materials.
Here at Invisible Company, we may be an SME and have fewer resources available in comparison to some other bigger businesses but we believe we can still make a difference and are extremely passionate about the SDG movement so we wanted to share more about how we are incorporating our goals into our business.
"... we are especially inspired by SDGs 4, 12, and 13 and feel these areas are where our contribution as a business and also as individuals can make the biggest impact."
As a business that is aiming to produce responsible packaging to connect and educate a sustainable community, we are especially inspired by SDGs 4, 12, and 13 and feel these areas are where our contribution as a business and also as individuals can make the biggest impact.
Climate change does not pay attention to borders. It does not pay attention to economies. It is now affecting every country on every continent, damaging communities, disrupting national economies, and devastating animal and human lives. Whilst recent efforts have certainly been improved to tackle climate change on a global scale, these efforts must still be massively increased to truly limit the global temperature rise to below 2°C.
The world must work together to remodel its food, agriculture, forestry, transport, industry, and energy systems. On the surface, this seems like a hugely daunting task but if every individual can make choices that have less harmful effects on their environment, this can collectively make a huge change.
Invisible Company started with a simple thought: what can we do to protect the beauty in nature? It has always been our aim to bring our community together to create an ongoing positive environmental impact and we have chosen to use responsible packaging as a catalyst to build and connect this community further.
“It is still possible, using a wide array of technological measures and changes in behavior, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” — United Nations on Climate Action
Every single day, tonnes and tonnes of packaging are produced globally for our ever-growing consumption needs, many of which are not biodegradable, or even recyclable. So whilst we recognise that zero waste isn’t something that can be achieved in a day, we have made it our mission to find a way to reduce waste from the source and create a solution that can be applied across numerous industries and in every single country.
Regardless of what the product is, there will have been carbon emissions when it was manufactured. It is very difficult to completely eliminate carbon in a product's life cycle but the amount of carbon can certainly be reduced and offset in other ways.
All existing and future #INVISIBLEBAG products have been created with environmental impact in mind and are either made from water-soluble, biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable materials. Find out more on our what’s #INVISIBLEBAG page.
There are still areas of our production process that need improving and we have been working hard to do this. In terms of SDG 13, Invisible Company has pledged that by 2023, we will have further developed our materials and sourced more renewable resources to be able to apply our products to a greater number of industries and help more businesses reduce their environmental impact.
Our Invisible Community
At Invisible HQ, we collectively make eco-conscious decisions, such as bringing our own lunches, composting food waste, recycling, limiting energy consumption, and regularly picking up trash when we go hiking or are out in nature.
“Responsible Packaging Connecting A Sustainable Community” - Invisible Company
As touched upon earlier, we are using our products as a catalyst to connect our existing sustainable community as well as grow it further. As a team, we stay up to date with the latest industry news and developments and then educate and encourage our community through our social media channels, blog posts, and newsletters.
We are also extremely passionate about meeting our community in person and are constantly looking for ways to do this, whether it be at events, panel discussions, or hike clean ups. We want to hear what you are doing to lessen your own impact and we want to share your ideas to inspire the community further!
12Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
The main message of this goal is essentially; to do more and to do better with less. In more detail, it is about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, promoting sustainable lifestyles, and increasing the efficiency of our current and future resources.
On a global scale, businesses need to find new solutions that will enable these sustainable consumption and production patterns. This means gaining a better understanding of the environmental and social impacts of their products/services as well as identifying which areas of their production chain have the greatest potential to be improved and will make the biggest positive impact.
The global targets of goal 12 that Invisible Company strongly identifies with are, by 2023:
- Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse
- Ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
#INVISIBLEBAG and What We Have Achieved
So what are we doing to work towards this goal? With our #INVISIBLEBAG, we hope to help businesses and individuals reduce their packaging waste and know that every time they sell or ship an item, they are lessening their environmental impact. We are finding ways to integrate our bags across a wide range of industries, from logistic companies to laundrettes, in order to replace conventional plastic packaging and show businesses that there are eco-friendlier options out there that are accessible and affordable.
According to the UN, 5 trillion plastic bags are thrown away each year. This statistic is made more devastating by the fact that today, there are numerous alternatives to plastic bags and this figure should no longer be anywhere near as high as this.
Since our journey began in 2020, Invisible Company has replaced 2 million conventional plastic bags with #INVISIBLEBAG. We are proud of this number but when compared to 5 trillion, it is still nowhere near enough. We need more brands, businesses, and individuals to join forces as a community and it is our aim that by 2023, we will have replaced over 10,000,000 plastic bags with #INVISIBLEBAG.
To keep our #INVISIBLEBAGs in optimal condition, they are packed within regular polybags. We strive to find the most economical and sustainable way to pack our products to reduce the amount of polybags we require. Furthermore, when it comes to shipping our products, we are now using our #INVISIBLEBAG mailer bags and water soluble packing peanuts, #INVISIBLEPUFF to protect our goods where possible. We also always use recycled materials and boxes where possible, so sorry if we get your hopes up if a box of ‘cookies’ arrives at your doorstep!
We are constantly working to identify new areas and businesses where our packaging can be used and we apply the principles of goal 12 in our business development too. When partnering with brands and businesses, we always do our due diligence where possible and try to work with distinctive actors, who are also doing their part to reduce the environmental impact of their business and encourage more responsible behaviour and a circular economy.
As individuals within our own company, we always try to be thoughtful and make informed decisions before purchasing items, such as food or garments. Furthermore, we aim to live as sustainably as we can, our founders are living a vegan lifestyle and the rest of our team are committed to reduce the environmental impact in their daily lives wherever possible.
4 Quality Education
SDG 4 is all about promoting quality education and enabling lifelong learning opportunities for everyone. Whilst this goal primarily addresses governing bodies and educational facilities, Invisible Company has always integrated education as part of its core values and we believe that we can achieve the following target:
- By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
Invisible Company aims to not only provide our customers with responsible products but to also be an educational platform where anyone can access resources and information regarding the environmental and sustainable industry. But we also pride ourselves on extending our community further by working with several local associations which provide the youth of Hong Kong with educational, entrepreneurial, and internship opportunities.
Since 2020, Invisible Company has proudly supported local NGO, Cocoon Foundation in several ways, such as hosting sharing sessions at local secondary schools, being mentors for educational programs and taking on interns who wish to explore working life in an industry they are passionate about.
We also work closely with Juvenate Consulting, which is a student consulting organization that has been making a social impact since 2020.
Since 2020, we took on over 8 interns and attended multiple educational workshops. We are pledging that by 2023, we will continue to work closely with even more students so as to encourage the next generation to keep working towards protecting our planet by joining forces together to promote sustainability.
There are other SDG goals that Invisible Company identifies with but it is goals 4, 12 and 13 where we feel we can make the biggest impact, as a business and as individuals within our team. We are feeling positive that as the world recovers from the pandemic, governments, businesses and individuals will see this as a chance to rebuild with stronger foundations for our people, our economy and most importantly, our earth.
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