Each September, people around the world celebrate Global Goals Week to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the SDGs in 2015. It is a week of action, awareness and involvement.

In September 2018, ERM set a challenge to undertake 5,000 actions that will contribute to the SDGs. These could be simple, personal actions, such as reducing single-use plastics in your weekly shopping, working with a local community-based organization, or speaking with a client about their contribution to the SDGs – as long as it was something that you were not already doing.

The response to #5000actions was very positive. Here are a few examples of actions taken:

  • Belgium: Bringing a bag every time you walk your dog to pick up litter in the neighborhood.
  • UK: Sharing tips for how to go “plastic free.”
  • Thailand: Supporting a client in analyzing social return on investment for a project, including the installation of a water filtering machine that helps provide drinking water for an entire school.
  • Chile: Using biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags for household trash.
  • US: Donating food with others from the office to a local food bank.
  • Thailand: Convincing a client to switch from providing individual plastic water bottles, to paper cups and ultimately to reusable drinking glasses in its training venues.
  • Germany: Cleaning trash from the forest near the office with colleagues.
  • Canada: Using public transit to commute to work.
  • UK: Signing up for a 6-week online course on designing for environmental sustainability and social impact.
  • Brazil: Cleaning up trash around a small lake in a nearby residential area with office colleagues, family members and friends, then segregating and donating material to a small recycling company. In addition, planting 12 trees around the small lake as well as collecting unused text books from home to donate to schools.
  • US: Striving to get as close to a “zero waste” lifestyle as possible.
  • Australia: attending free webinar on why water professionals should care about the SDGs and sharing materials with colleagues.
  • India: Replacing plastic drinking water bottles with glass, switching off lights and appliances when not in use and donating clothes for reuse.
  • UK: Eliminating plastic cling wrap at home.