In September 2015, all 193 members of the UN signed up to the 2030 Agenda, a plan to eliminate poverty, unfairness and injustice wherever possible, protect the environment, and create a better future. One of the key features of the agenda was the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set out a vision for how the world should be by the year 2030. Following on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which the international community had been working on for 15 years since 2001, the SDGs are positioned as universal goals applicable to all countries.
Rather than relying solely on national governments, the SDGs also require companies and members of the public to take action all over the world. The SDG Compass is a guide to show companies how they should be using the SDGs, published jointly by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It provides the following explanation.
"Unlike their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs explicitly call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solve sustainable development challenges. The SDGs have been agreed by all governments, yet their success relies heavily on action and collaboration by all actors.
The SDGs present an opportunity for business-led solutions and technologies to be developed and implemented to address the world's biggest sustainable development challenges."
The adoption of the SDGs by the UN has reaffirmed that we are going in the right direction with our business activities as a group, and provided us with a springboard from which to assess critical long-term risks and opportunities, in terms of issues that we need to address and the path we need to take in the future.
Of the 17 goals set out under the SDGs,
No.4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all),
No,6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all),
No.8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all),
No.9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation),
No.11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).
No.12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns),
No.13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts),
No.14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development), and
No.15 (Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss)
in particular tie in with areas in which we are implementing priority initiatives.
We intend to incorporate the SDGs into our strategies from the point of view of both increasing the competitiveness of our existing business, and creating new products and businesses. We will also be actively working with a wide range of outside partners, as we strive to create value over the medium to long term.
Outline of the SDGs
Based on the philosophy "No one will be left behind," the SDGs set out 17 sustainable development goals and 169 specific targets.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Plastic waste is littering our oceans and threatening the lives of millions of marine animals. Seals, whales, dolphins, seabirds, fish, crabs and many other sea animals are dying and becoming sick because of this deadly environmental concern.
Microplastics are a major part of the issue. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic which come from larger plastics that have degraded over time.
Sea animals often eat microplastics because of their small size. And plastic contains toxic chemicals, which can increase the chance of disease and affect reproduction. After ingesting microplastics, seals, and other animals, may suffer for months or years before they die.
In 2014, an estimated 15 to 51 trillion microplastic particles were floating in the world’s oceans, weighing between 93,000 and 236,000 tonnes.
What we're doing
We set up the NPO URUSHI NEXT which brings together private-sector companies and non-governmental organisations to tackle the problem. We want to clear our oceans of microplastics and stop more going in. And we want to do this in a sustainable way.
Urushi has durable, and degradable
The surface of urushi coating film is in a sea-island structure. This brings the semi-mat texture unique to urushi.
Once dried, the urushi coating film itself is strong against water and dryness; it is also resistant to acid, alkali and organic solvents.
However, urushi coating film is weak against ultraviolet rays, which is the major cause of deterioration of urushi. When exposed to ultraviolet rays, chalking will be caused and the solidity of the coating film will be lost. It is said that such deterioration initiates when the island parts (the polysaccharides) of the sea-island structure is destroyed and lost by ultraviolet rays.
As mentioned already, urushi is a very durable material except against ultraviolet rays and does not dissolve in any solvent. Such characteristic makes urushi an extremely outstanding coating material.
Urushi has durable and degradable.
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