UN SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere | Best Practices & Business Implications

By Sanjay Tugnait


Eradicating extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030 is a pivotal goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG 1 aims to eradicate every form of extreme poverty including the lack of food, clean drinking water, and sanitation. Achieving this goal includes finding solutions to new threats caused by climate change and conflict. SDG 1 focuses not just on people living in poverty, but also on the services people rely on and social policy that either promotes or prevents poverty.


UN SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere | Best Practices & Business Implications

The targets and indicators listed under SDG 1 are:

1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day


1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions


1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable


1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance


1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters


1.A Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions


1.B Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions


Practices from Canada: UN SDG Goal 1

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing poverty, supporting Canadians working hard to join the middle class, and building a diverse, prosperous and truly inclusive country where everyone benefits from economic growth. A number of initiatives to support low-income individuals and families are contributing to the target to reduce poverty in Canada by 50% by 2030.


In 2018, the Government of Canada launched its first poverty reduction strategy, Opportunity for All - Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy. Building on a national consultation process with provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous governments, academics, people involved in social service delivery, and people who have lived experience of poverty, the strategy committed to the SDG 1 targets of reducing poverty by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030.


The Government of Canada continues to work with National Indigenous Organizations and other partners to co-develop indicators of poverty and well-being from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis perspectives. This will help to better measure poverty among Indigenous populations in Canada in a way that is culturally appropriate.


Following from a commitment in Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Poverty Reduction Act came into force in 2019. The Act enshrines into law the government's poverty reduction targets, Canada's Official Poverty Line, and the National Advisory Council on Poverty. A number of initiatives to support low-income individuals and families are contributing to the target to reduce poverty in Canada by 50% by 2030. The Act enshrines into law the government's poverty reduction targets, Canada's Official Poverty Line, and the National Advisory Council on Poverty.


Best Practices & Business Implications

Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies have a responsibility to respect human rights and labour rights in accordance with international standards which includes identifying and avoiding practices that perpetuate poverty traps. A company can do this by conducting human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address actual and potential human rights and labour rights impacts in their own operations and supply chains. Companies should identify workers in their supply chains who are vulnerable to poverty as part of their human rights due diligence process. Businesses hold a powerful lever for reducing poverty in their capacity as employers, producers and buyers through ensuring decent working conditions for their employees and workers across the supply chain. This includes, for example, fair wages, reasonable working hours, and adequate health and safety measures for workers. Sustainable procurement practices create the conditions to ensure decent work, which in turn can address working poverty issues in global supply chains.


Example from FCCCO Member Network

A key example of how businesses can exercise the practices of connecting their business vision with that of social growth and empowerment is an internationally renowned bank – ICICI. They have undertaken these two key initiatives:

  • Skill development and strengthening livelihoods: ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (ICICI Foundation) has provided skill training to over 5.2 lakh underprivileged individuals across urban and rural India to enhance employment opportunities and improve livelihood.

  • Financial inclusion and lending to key segments of the rural population: Banking the unbanked through 20.1 million financial inclusion accounts, facilitating direct benefit transfers and lending to over 7 million women beneficiaries under the Self-Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP) have enabled smoothening cashflows, secure digital payments, financial protection and entrepreneurial activities.


Ending poverty and promoting decent work are two sides of the same coin. Decent work is both the major instrument to make development happen and also in effect, the central objective of sustainable development.” — Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO

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