June 17, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and urgency of creating sustainable systems in society. It has particularly shown that humanity will not be able to attain prosperity in the twenty-first century unless it can move beyond an excessive focus on economic growth to achieve balanced growth on the three dimensions of economic, social and environmental sustainability. With that realization, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)--which articulate our shared future in 2030 and integrate those three dimensions in a comprehensive and balanced way--provide a good guide for global development in the context of the COVID experience.
Introduced below are 12 key strategies that were identified using the SDGs as a guide for the world to move forward. They are the essential results of discussions on the theme of “How should the SDGs change based on COVID-19 experience?” by the xSDG Consortium, a research consortium facilitated by the xSDG Laboratory of the Keio Research Institute at SFC. These discussions were conducted in fiscal 2020 through a series of online workshops with consortium partners, including researchers, companies, staff from central and local governments, and more. The list of partner companies and organizations at the end of this paper shows their diversity. Each of them, from their own perspective, is sincerely considering how the SDGs can be achieved. Their diversity and dedication is the greatest strength of this paper.
The perspective they all kept in mind was that a sustainable society can be achieved if the 17 goals and 169 targets are addressed all together.
A strategy built upon these points can be used to demonstrate leadership in each sector in order to realize a sustainable post-COVID world.
Strategy 1. Use online and digital technologies
Strategy 2. Accept telework and diverse work styles
Strategy 3. Adapt quickly to changes in urban structure
Strategy 4. Adapt quickly to changes in industrial structure
Strategy 5. Transform mobility
Strategy 6. Redesign supply chains
Strategy 7. Adapt to lifestyle and business realities that have transformed along with changes in values
Strategy 8. Promote renewable energy and integrate climate measures into operations and policies
Strategy 9. Integrate face-to-face and digital education
Strategy 10. Develop while maintaining proper distances and relationships between nature and humans
Strategy 11. Verify and adapt business continuity plans （BCPs）
Strategy 12. Adopt robust protocols for infectious diseases
Contributors to strategy development
＊ Targets of “Key targets to help achieve the SDGs” are edited for brevity.