The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals:
A Platform for Progress
The status quo cannot continue. From climate change and environmental degradation to poverty and inequality, the challenges we face are profound, diverse – and getting worse. We must address them as nations, as individuals, and as businesses. That’s why ClearTech enthusiastically embraces the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We invite you to learn more about the SDGs, and how we’re working to advance them.
In recognition of the importance of taking immediate action to achieve a better, more sustainable future for our planet and all who inhabit it, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs] with 169 specific targets, was adopted by all 193 member nations of the UN, including the United States. Signatories pledged to achieve these indivisible and universal goals by 2030 in order to build a sustainable world for all.
It’s not enough, however, merely to endorse these goals. We must act on them – as nations, and as industries and businesses. Understanding the need for both public and private sector participation, The ClearTech leadership team studied the Agenda, identified the goals and targets that most apply to our business, and are now incorporating them into our strategic planning. Our commitment will be integrated into every aspect of our business, including our business plan, strategic planning, marketing and branding.
Doing so isn’t just the right thing to do for our planet and our communities. It’s the smart thing to do for our business. Our customers and employees want to be associated with responsible entities. Moreover, environmental-oriented environment has passed the tipping point, with investors putting $3 billion a day into initiatives focused on taking us beyond a fossil fuel economy. In just the next decade, there will be upwards of $12 trillion in business opportunities for companies that align themselves with sustainable development, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The fact is, threats to sustainability have been ignored and minimized for too long. But that is no longer possible. We can no longer treat “sustainability” as an option for how we run our businesses. Developing ways to do business that are consistent with the full meaning of sustainability for people and the planet, must become an integral characteristic of doing business. The good news is that the 2030 SDGs provide a detailed roadmap for moving forward. By acting now, our businesses, industry and planet not only can survive, but will thrive.
Where ClearTech can make a difference
ClearTech has identified 4 of the 2030 SDGs that most align with our business model. By focusing our efforts in areas that leverage our strengths as a small business, we can make meaningful progress toward achieving the following SDGs.
- ClearTech will offer the NSCA Foundation IGNITE internship program to provide career opportunities to high school and college students in our company and industry. The program provides a comprehensive training program in a variety of areas including engineering, programming, field installation, project management and sales.
- ClearTech will launch a new internship program in partnership with local colleges that will focus specifically on the 2030 SDGs. It will involve research and development projects that help ClearTech align its business model with the SDGs with an emphasis on Goal 12, ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. Ideal candidates for this internship program are students majoring in sustainable development and/or a related field.
- ClearTech is a women business enterprise (WBE) that ensures equality of compensation and opportunity for all employees regardless of their gender.
- ClearTech President and NSCA Board member Christina De Bono provides mentorship and an emulative example for other women in the AV industry to be empowered in taking on leadership roles.
- ClearTech will partner with Pasadena City College’s vocational center to offer internship opportunities to their female students involved in programming, engineering, and technical associate degree programs.
For us, this will involve substantially reducing waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse; and encouraging companies to follow suit and publicly report their efforts.
- ClearTech will subject products to a Life Cycle Analysis to quantify the CO2 impact of the entire life cycle. When recommending products for AV integrations, we will focus on the entire life cycle, giving preference to:
- Products that can be produced with less energy, and are produced by manufacturers that use renewable energy
- Products made from materials whose procurement and processing do not tax the environment
- Products from manufacturers that minimize the CO2 impact of packaging materials and transportation.
- Products with energy-efficient operation. When appliances are energy efficient by design, total cost of ownership decreases and disposal rates decrease in correspondence to increased durability.
- Products that can be reused or repurposed.
- Products whose components and materials can be recycled.
- Products that are designed to be updated. For example: We will favor products that are modular in design so that hardware can be upgraded via modules, extending the useful life of each product.
- ClearTech will participate in programs that provide schools and community organizations AV equipment that can be repurposed upon reaching their first end of life.
- ClearTech will help clients choose more sustainable options when integrating new technologies. This goal can be facilitated by joining projects early in their lifespan to help ensure that decisions regarding sustainability are being made from the outset.
- ClearTech will advocate for increased automation and device monitoring. Through centralized control of AV solutions and thorough data collection, facility managers and integrators can evaluate and improve the efficiency of solutions over time.
- ClearTech will choose partners who demonstrate sustainability initiatives through their production and delivery cycles.
ClearTech is an active sponsor of the Commission on Voluntary Service and Action (CVSA), an all-volunteer coordinating and consultative body of 200 grassroots nongovernmental organizations serving people and communities in need of systemic solutions to economic, social, and environmental problems. CVSA holds Special NGO Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council at the UN, providing a voice for independent, voluntary organizations and the constituencies they serve.
CVSA has launched a community education campaign for the implementation of the SDGs that ClearTech has actively participated in by doing presentations about the SDGs to community organizations, businesses, and associations. ClearTech is a sponsor of the upcoming edition of INVEST YOURSELF: A Guide to Action, a catalogue of volunteer opportunities, which will feature the 2030 SDGs and highlight the role of CVSA’s member organizations represented in the catalog.
Measuring our progress
Setting targets is important; measuring our progress toward them is essential. ClearTech will track progress towards the SDGs using the SDG Action Manager, a self-assessment tool that helps organizations evaluate their current performance on the SDGs. The tool also recommends the SDGs where a company has the most opportunity to have a real impact, based on the World Benchmarking Alliance’s market analysis.
The bigger picture: ClearTech and the AV industry
Every sector of industry has a responsibility to advance sustainability – especially in the absence of any meaningful, coordinated action by the US government. The AV industry is no exception. By its very nature, our industry is well-positioned to make substantial progress in areas related to responsible waste management, life cycle carbon emission reduction, and reduced energy usage.
It is especially important that our industry take action now because the demand for AV solutions is growing, and the accelerating pace of technological development means that products are replaced in increasingly shorter cycles, leading to a number of associated environmental consequences. It’s therefore essential that we focus on responsible manufacturing, as well as reuse, repurposing, recycling, and reduction at every stage of the product life cycle, beginning with how materials are sourced for manufacturing, and concluding with how we dispose of the products at the end of their useful life.
Focusing on sustainability isn’t just essential for the health of our planet. It directly benefits the health of our businesses and our industry by better positioning us to address burgeoning market activities; reduce our exposure to a variety of business risks; and strengthening the very foundations of the economy: planet, people, prosperity, peace, and partnership.