EARSC session on Industry Contribution to SDGs at EGW11

EARSC organised a session on Industry Contribution to SDGs on 20th June alongside the 11th GEO European Projects Workshop.

The session on “Leveraging EO services to help monitoring SDGs, the industry contribution” took place in the framework of the European GEO projects workshop from 19-21 June 2017 in Helsinki.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being launched with an emphasis on collecting data that will be extensive and specific enough to serve these needs. They are designed to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. European EO industry can help achieve the SDGs by providing critical information on natural resources, government operations, public services, and population demographics. Industry helps on the SDG implementation role, monitoring, reporting, and the facilitation and shaping of reporting methods, policy and tools. These insights can inform national priorities and help determine the most effective paths for action on national issues.

The workshop brought experts from the public and private sectors to underline the key priorities of GEO with regards to industry engagement and how to work in practice for the uptake of R&D projects. The panel focused on existing business cases against the SDGs. It was a great opportunity to make evidence on the actual capabilities of EO industry using relevant indicators that may be useful when contributing to the SDGs (measuring/reporting).

The outcomes of the discussion were that:

  • Some examples on how industry help on the SDG implementation role, monitoring, reporting, and the
    facilitation and shaping of reporting methods have been addressed.
  • SDGs are providing a common language to products and services that industry is already producing and
    EuroGEOSS could help to establish regular and consistent communication around the contribution to SDGs
    by all European stakeholders.
  • Industry bring a broad industry perspective across all commercial sectors to contribute towards meeting
    SDGs. Example of the full chain from research to operational have been covered by some sectors (case of
    fisheries)
  • Some companies in other market sectors (corporates) are already utilizing reporting indexes, ratings or
    standards (helping to monitor SDGs) for their reporting on market impact to their various stakeholders
  • It has been noted as important to look into evidence of the practical integration of the SDGs into existing
    business measuring indicators.
  • Overall, European EO industry can help achieve the SDGs by providing critical information on natural
    resources, government operations, public services, and population demographics; however, it is
    recommended to be very precise when companies refer to a target or to an indicator so we do not try to
    oversell the EO contribution to the Global Indicator Framework.
  • When referring to indicators, those EO products should make a direct contribution to the monitoring of
    the subject indicator.

Presentations are available at EARSC’s website