A green city symbolizing sustainable development

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What is sustainable development?

In recent years, there has been much talk about this concept, but what is it and when did it emerge?

According to the World Commission on Environment and Development created by the United Nations (UN): "Sustainable development meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations, ensuring a balance between growth and environmental protection."

The origin of this term dates back to the early 1980s with the creation of this commission whose objective was to ensure environmental, economic, and social sustainability. A few years later, in 1987, the members of this committee wrote the well-known Brundtland Report. A document covering three major strategic lines:

  1. Sustainable world economic growth.
  2. The improvement of the quality of this growth by addressing the development of cities, energy supply, food security and the preservation of species and ecosystems. 
  3. Caring for the environment, as a fundamental part in the decision-making process of institutions, organizations, and companies.

The Brundtland report, entitled "Our Common Future," is currently a reference guide followed by organizations and companies. In this way, concrete, realistic, and achievable measures can be set so that, with the sum of all parties, we can provide an effective response to environmental and sustainable development issues.  

Sustainable development seeks a balance between these three pillars. Something that is also known as the triple impact model, a term coined by economist John Elkington in 2004. Companies that abide by this model seek economic profitability and care about generating a positive impact on the community and caring for and respecting the environment. 

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In recent years, there has been much talk about this concept, but what is it and when did it emerge?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an initiative promoted by the UN to "end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of people around the world." They came about to give continuity to the so-called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from the year 2000. 

To understand their importance, we have to go back a few years. In 2000, almost 200 countries signed the Millennium Declaration. It was a historic event in which nations made a commitment to achieve the so-called MDGs. These goals were specified in eight key points to reduce extreme poverty and hunger by half, promote gender equality, and reduce infant mortality.

A few years later and after numerous debates, the MDGs were absorbed in 2015 by a more ambitious project, which aims to "end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity." This is how the 8 MDGs became the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, also refered to by their acronym SDGs, and the 2030 Agenda took shape.

The approval of these new goals highlighted the need to work collaboratively, fostering public-private partnerships between different companies, sectors, and public bodies. Being aware of the prominent role that the energy sector has in facing this global challenge, we decided at Repsol to multiply the efforts that we had already been making and that we reflect every year in our SDG Report

What are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals represent a major international commitment. These are the strategic pillars on which each of them rests: 

  1. End poverty: increase access to resources and provide aid to communities most affected by conflict or natural disasters.
  2. Zero hunger: ensure investment in the infrastructure and technology needed to improve agricultural productivity. 
  3. Health and well-being: reducing inequality and ensuring good health for all people.
  4. Quality education: promote inclusive, quality education so that all children complete primary and secondary education.
  5. Gender equality: ensure equal rights, as well as universal access to reproductive health. 
  6. Clean water and sanitation: ensure universal access to safe drinking water and provide adequate sanitation facilities to maintain proper hygiene. 
  7. Affordable and clean energy: improve energy productivity by investing in clean energy sources.
  8. Decent work and economic growth: stimulate sustainable economic growth by increasing productivity and types of innovation
  9. Industry, innovation, and infrastructure: reduce the digital divide and promote sustainable industries by increasing investment in research and innovation. 
  10. Reducing inequalities: improve market regulation and promoting migration and mobility of people.
  11. Sustainable cities and communities: ensure access to safe housing and investing in public transportation and urban management.
  12. Responsible production and consumption: meet consumption needs by creating more efficient production chains and reducing food waste. 
  13. Climate action: adopt measures to reduce the risk of natural disasters and prevent the global average temperature from rising. 
  14. Underwater life: protect marine and coastal ecosystems from land-based pollution.
  15. Life of terrestrial ecosystems: preserve natural habitats and biodiversity. 
  16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions: exchange ideas to find lasting solutions to conflicts and promote human rights. 
  17. Partnership to achieve the goals: promote cooperation and support international trade to achieve a universal system that benefits all. 

Repsol and Sustainable Development.

At Repsol, we are committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We integrate them into our strategic line, transfer them to all levels, and materialize them in concrete actions such as:

Repsol and the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Global Sustainability Plan: Agenda 2030 promotes collaboration between public and private companies to achieve the goals described above. Therefore, at Repsol, we prepare a report detailing the results of our annual Global Sustainability Plan, with more than forty medium-term objectives and yearly lines of action.
  • Success stories - SDG 2021 Report: Following our sustainability objectives, we have carried out numerous projects, turning them into success stories for their positive impact and contribution to the SDGs. In addition, we report on all our actions in a truthful, clear, and verifiable way, preparing an SDG Report for the last three years, with the company's contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.