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Martin Fahey asks if you will be raising a flag this Friday for sustainability?

This coming Friday 23rd September, we will be flying a new flag from our headquarters flagpole as we mark seven years since the world adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDG’s as they are known.

The official date is actually on the Sunday (September the 25th), but Friday makes more sense for businesses and regardless of this, it is quite clear that the need for action on the SDG’s is greater than ever.

Friday is designed to raise awareness of these important Goals and showcase everyone’s contributions and, like many other organisations we will be actively supporting the campaign on social media, using #TogetherForTheSDGs.

It makes greater economic sense to introduce sustainable measures, such renewable heating for your building

Martin Fahey2 Martin Fahey Head of Sustainability

A global movement

In joining in simply by raising a flag, we are playing our part in a global movement working towards a more sustainable future.

The SDG Flag Campaign originally started in the Netherlands and over the past two years, it has grown significantly. 

This year, you will see hundreds or possibly even thousands of businesses, schools, charities and civil society organisations, along with government departments, all raising an SDG flag to mark the adoption of the SDG’s.

The ambition of the campaign is to challenge all companies to raise their own level of ambition.

In doing so, they can help meet the needs of both society and the planet by fully integrating sustainability into their business strategy and operations.

And as we at Mitsubishi Electric have highlighted for years, this does not have to cost businesses.

It actually makes greater economic sense the earlier you plan to introduce sustainable measures into your business, such as the adoption of renewable heating for your building.

We can all do more

As Head of Sustainability for our UK and Ireland Branch, I know that as a business, we have the drive and the desire to play our part. I also know that, like many other companies, we are already doing a lot to reduce our impact on the environment, including being one of the first manufacturers in our sector to list the embodied carbon in our products.

However, there is still much for us all to do and we can always do more.

But there must be a start for everyone and by getting involved in raising a flag, we are looking to promote the aims of the UN SDGs and encourage others to play their part too.

An urgent need

The need for action is clear.

The world is simply not delivering the progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the pace and scale needed.

It is still possible to move the world towards a 1.5°C overall temperature trajectory and therefore achieve the SDGs by 2030.

However, this will take urgent action by everyone to dramatically accelerate progress.

We are now just over seven years away from the 2030 Agenda deadline and, like all responsible companies, we believe that it is simply not possible to deliver our corporate goals without building resilience and sustainability into our business.

I’ve said before that to build long-term growth for any business, it must be sustainable.

This is true of society as well and by supporting the UN SDGs, all of us have a focus and a programme that can help us to play our part.

Will you be raising a flag this Friday?

Martin Fahey is Head of Sustainability for UK & Ireland