Following the list of the SDGs, the thirteenth goal is to “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” (1).
Climate Change is related to global warming on the Earth and the impact of temperatures on the planet. The main purpose of SDG13 is to alert society about the problems of Climate Change and the impact it will have in the future if we are not able to find a solution. In fact, each country, government, and company should conduct actions that can fight the issues related to this problem.
What causes Climate Change?
Several factors can provoke climate change, but the main cause can be identified in the gases released by fossil fuels and the tiny particles they produce which retain the sun’s energy in the atmosphere. These gases are so-called “greenhouse gases” because they function as reflective glass maintaining heat. (3)
Another cause is “black carbon”, tiny black particles that produce heat that is absorbed into the atmosphere and function as a blanket. (3)
The aggravation of climate change has increased greatly due to the extra usage of fossil fuels as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, natural gas, and petrochemicals such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, and fertilizers that are made from oil. (3)
After intense research, scientists have concluded that the use of fossil fuels releases a huge amount of carbon into the atmosphere which was stored underground years ago due to the amounts buried underground. (3)
Conference of the Parties
To solve the problems that climate change has caused on the planet and to prevent future generations from going through further difficulties, the “Conference of the Parties” is established once a year. It refers to the governments, who have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They discuss together what each one can do in order to deal with the problems of climate change. (2)
World leaders, ministers, representatives of society, international organizations, and the media participate in the conference. (2)
The first conference, called “COP1” was held for the first time in Berlin, Germany in 1995. (2)
The conference scheduled to be held in Glasgow in 2020 was postponed to October – November 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (2)
In 2015 during the cop21 in France, the “Paris Agreement” treaty was signed by almost every country in the world. (2)
The goal of this treaty is to attempt to keep the rise in global average temperatures “well below” 2 degrees, ideally below 1.5 degrees. Furthermore, it aims to strengthen and generate actions that allow countries to adapt rapidly and effectively to climate change. (2)
Each country decides the reduction of emissions each year and everyone will have to communicate what are the numbers they intend to reach to the UNFCCC in a determined form of national contribution. (2)
Among the 154 developed countries, 125 began to formulate and adopt suitable plans for climate change, prioritizing areas such as food security and production, terrestrial and wetland ecosystems, freshwater resources, human health, and key economic sectors and services.
How much do you know about Climate Change?
You can access this link: (https://www.earthday.org/the-climate-change-quiz/), take the quiz and know how big this threat is. (5)
How can companies help the achievement of SDG 13?
Measure Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Each company must understand and measure the number of gas emissions it produces. There are certified agencies that support companies to measure their CO2 emissions. (4)
Reducing Energy Consumption
All companies should be able to efficiently reduce the use of energy, opting for actions such as not charging mobile devices when it is not needed. (4)
Use Renewable Energies
Nowadays, renewable energies have increasingly appeared in society as a huge support to battle climate change. Each company must understand its advantages. (4)
Waste affects the climate immensely; companies must reduce waste and try to purchase products that have an extended life and with durable batteries, products that can be rechargeable and reduce the use of plastic. (4)
Optimize Employees Transportation
Transport is one of the fields that produce the most gas emissions. Companies should create plans that can help all employees to be able to transport themselves to work in a more sustainable way such as car-sharing between colleagues with rides, lower prices on public transport or discounts. (4)
Choosing partners for the company can be an arduous task. It is suggested to pick suppliers that provide efficiency together with a sustainable approach. (4)
Companies to take inspiration from
If you are looking for some inspiration, here is a list of companies that make a difference with their sustainable initiative towards the achievement of SDG 13.
CHOOSE is a startup based in Oslo, Norway which offers companies digital tools that can help take action on climate. This helps companies to offset the expenses they produce with the natural resources they have in key operations and business trips as well as help for all employees.
CHOOSE also has a digital platform called CHOOSE CONNECT that offers various compensation options to companies as solutions to reduce natural resource spending. In addition, the company offers solutions for individual people such as subscriptions and guides to reduce their ecological footprint. (7)
The company seeks to ensure the happiness of customers and the planet with the services it provides helping them optimize all their operations. (8)
Futureproofed is a Belgian startup that aims to develop solutions that keep pace with the number of emissions that companies produce in an attempt to help combat climate change. It has a platform called FutureproofedCities that indicates the number of emissions in the past and estimates the number of emissions in the future. (7)
This start-up helps cities, through a blog, to engage with their citizens in climate actions, measures and progress. They seek to put into practice all action plans to lower climate change and learn from other cities or municipalities. (7)
Poseidon is a startup based in Singapore that helps consumers have a climate balance in their daily actions using artificial intelligence. It analyzes the carbon footprint of each product or service, then acquires the same amount of carbon credits to balance the impact of carbon on the product. (7)
This start-up is known for supporting forest conservation, reforestation and sustainable agriculture projects. (7)
Trace is an Australian-based startup offering carbon offset solutions in an attempt to help consumers and brands have a positive climate balance. The start-up produces campaigns for company employees to help train them in the right way to reduce and offset their carbon footprint. Finally, the company calculates the carbon footprint of each company’s supply chain. (7)
Trace receives a certified carbon credit for every tonne of carbon dioxide offset. (7)
Actions you can take in your daily life to achieve SDG 13
To achieve the objectives settled in SDG 13, each one of us must be responsible. In addition to companies, organizations, and governments, we must take actions in our personal lives that can help achieve the goal.
Here is a list of things everyone can do to become closer to SDG 13 suggested by the United Nations. (6)
- Save energy at home
- Walk, cycle, or take public transport
- Eat more vegetables
- Consider your travel
- Throw away less food
- Reduce, reuse, repair & recycle
- Change your home’s source of energy
- Switch to an electric vehicle
GründerAtelier’s Impact Accelerator
This was the thirteenth article of our SDGs series, which aims to make the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals easy to put into practice for start-ups and entrepreneurs, in general.
If you are in charge or work for an impact-related start-up that supports one or multiple SDGs you can apply to our Impact Accelerator where we will guide you through the journey to become investment-ready and then, introduce you to our VC partners.
(1) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from United Nations website: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal13. Accessed on 10/01/2022
(2) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from Chatham House website: https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/09/what-cop26-and-why-it-important?gclid=CjwKCAiAz–OBhBIEiwAG1rIOsKmIA13nffeHTVwDG1CdGYsgfSRmFLHXWYN9oIcNcF6WXE29GFvdRoC5xsQAvD_BwE. Accessed on 10/01/22
(3) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from WarmHeart website: https://warmheartworldwide.org/climate-change/?gclid=CjwKCAiAz–OBhBIEiwAG1rIOlkUjQyGRW6pIgxXexL3Ke2kHnXtGMtFvAW4N4stWdCEbqFC2hsgrhoCG5MQAvD_BwE. Accessed on 10/01/2022
(4) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from YouMatter Website: https://youmatter.world/en/actions-companies-climate-change-environment-sustainability/. Accessed on 10/01/2022
(5) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from Earth Day website: https://www.earthday.org/the-climate-change-quiz/. Accessed on 10/01/22
(6) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from United Nations website: https://www.un.org/actnow. Accessed on 10/01/22
(7) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from StartUs Insights website: https://www.startus-insights.com/innovators-guide/discover-5-top-startups-working-towards-the-uns-sdg-13-climate-action/. Accessed on 10/01/22
(8) Goal 13: Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from CHOOSE website: https://chooose.today/. Accessed on 10/01/22