Humans depend on the Earth and the oceans to live. SDG15 aims to secure sustainable livelihoods for future enjoyment generations. It aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss. While effects will be felt locally first, the long-term consequences are global, and the impact is highly relevant to business, presenting risks and opportunities.

Countries are trying to implement social principles to protect biodiversity (plants and animals) and ecosystems, including public awareness work.
SDG15 Life On Land

How can we pursue SDG15?

There is a need to retain the integrity and vitality of natural resources today and for future generations to ensure long-term socio-economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable land management. Businesses can directly contribute to SDG 15 by measuring, managing, and mitigating its impact and dependence on land and ecosystems.

Potential solutions include:

  • Protect forests and mountain areas.
  • Adopt best practices for land use planning and management.
  • Reforest the land, and finance the restoration of degraded land for production and conservation purposes.
  • Expand markets for responsible forest products and thereby support sustainable forest management
  • Recycle and reduce the consumption of paper, glass, metal, and old electronics.
  • Purchase second-hand, refurbished or recycled furniture, equipment, clothes, etc.
  • Compost food scraps to reduce climate impact while also recycling nutrients.
  • Clean your local parks and forests to sustain the ecosystem of your local green space.
  • Do not use pesticides to protect and sustain soil quality.
  • Expand industrial reuse of water and support watershed protection programs.
  • Invest in natural infrastructure (e.g. an area or system that is naturally occurring or naturalised) as a cost-competitive alternative to grey infrastructure e.g. dams, seawalls, roads, pipes, water treatment plants, etc.
  • Strive to end poaching and trafficking of protected fauna and flora species.

Patagonia Case Study

Going purpose

Patagonia is a successful American retailer of outdoor clothing. Founded by accomplished rock climber Yvon Chouinard in 1973, the company is now head-quartered in Ventura, California.

By using recycled content, Patagonia has removed 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions in one year. The extra good thing Patagonia does is to make a garment from recycled materials that really lasts to encourage people to reduce their consumption - buying well and buying less.

Leading by example

As Patagonia witnessed the extent of global warming and ecological destruction and its contribution to it, they committed to using their company to change how business was done. If they could do the right thing while making enough to pay the bills, they could influence customers and other businesses, and maybe change the system along the way.

Earth is now our only shareholder

In September 2022, Chouinard announced that ownership of Patagonia would be donated to a trust to ensure that profits are used to address climate change and protect undeveloped land around the world. "Instead of going public, you could say we’re going purpose. Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth." - Yvon Chouinard

SDG15 aims to "Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss".

It has associated aims that include:
  • Ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands.

  • Promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.

  • Combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.

  • Ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.

  • Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.

  • Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.

  • Integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts.

Purpose-led Leadership

Good Dividends in partnership with QuoLux™ provide purpose-led leadership training programmes to enable leaders to align their businesses with Sustainable Development Goals.