Sustainable Development Principles

Sustainable development can only be managed if we unite behind some founding principles. 

These sustainable development principles include upholding human rights, taking a stewardship approach, anti-corruption and transparency, good governance and integrity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion, and anti-discrimination.

These all sit as foundations of our global march towards truly sustainable development.

What governing principles do you stand by?

Confirming the principles that guide your organisation, is an important first step. To support sustainable development, organisations set governing principles which will help you guide good decision-making.

Sustainable development is the organising principle for meeting human development goals, while also sustaining the ability of the earth’s natural systems to provide the resources and ecosystem services upon which we depend.

Referring back to these guiding principles offers a safety net to assess if the decision conflicts with the organisation’s values.

By the end of this lesson you will understand the founding principles of sustainable development and ethical governance and be introduced to the programmes which establish these globally accepted principles.

Sustainable development principles and values include concepts such as;

Inclusivity Integrity Stewardship Transparency Labour Standards Human Rights

There are programmes or protocols you can draw on to help define your organisation’s governing principles, such as the UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative. The Sustainable Development Goals give you a framework to consider how these principle may apply when setting your own goals and action plans. And ISO 20121 also describes guiding principles you could stand by. See more on each below.

Include these principles and concepts in any policies, commitment statements, charters or similar documentation or declarations which describes the foundation values held by your organisation.

Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. 

At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

ISO 20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems (international standard) addresses sustainable development principles and events. It is worth reviewing how this international standard approached these principles. The presentation above summarises this and what is required within that standard and explains how to take an approach to incorporate sustainable development principles into your event planning.

Describes sustainable development principles and values such as inclusivity, transparency, integrity and stewards

UN Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact was created to define guiding principles of sustainable development to which organisations can align their operations and strategies. These ten universally accepted principles are in the areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruptionRead more.

Sets 10 principles from which you could base the foundation principles and values on.

Global Reporting Initiative Event Organizers Sector Disclosure includes performance disclosures including many directly related to Sustainable Development principles. Read more.