Enabling the Global Goals

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the most ambitious global agenda ever formalized for the social, economic and environmental improvement of the world.

If the SDGs become reality, the world will be transformed for good by 2030: no poverty, no hunger, gender equality, economic growth decoupled from environmental resource degradation – while ensuring no one is left behind. 

Digital solutions, such as virtual learning and working, smart agriculture and e-health, are currently transforming the world and how people live. They can be a unique catalyst for the transformations needed to achieve the SDGs. The digital transformation is hap-pening at unprecedented speed, reaching people nearly everywhere and in every income bracket, providing people-centric solutions and new business models that enable wealth and prosperity. 

The purpose of this report is threefold:

  • Share fresh insights about how digital solutions are already impacting the SDGs
  • Inform steering of digital industry action on SDG achievement
  • Define an evidence-based and credible methodology for measuring the digital industry's impact on the SDGs

This report builds on GeSI’s extensive work on quantifying the sustainability benefits of digitalization. GeSI’s “#SMARTer”² series provided compelling data on digital solutions’ potential to substantially  reduce global CO₂ emissions. In 2016, GeSI made the SDGs its guiding framework for action, and  published the “#SystemTransformation” report³, which demonstrated that digital solutions can drive  progress on achieving all 17 SDGs and deliver strong positive social, economic and environmental  impacts, including:

  1. saving 720,000 lives and preventing 30 million injuries on the world’s roads (SDG 3)
  2. protecting 12% of GDP in developing countries and USD 9 trillion in enabled revenues and cost savings (SDG 8)
  3. reducing global CO₂ emissions by 20% and
  4. decoupling growth from oil consumption (SDG 13)

By fostering responsibility and engaging with stakeholders, GeSI and its members aim to unleash the full positive impact potential of digital solutions. 

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