Our SDG commitment
The Artlife contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs for short, describe 17 goals for sustainable development. For the first time, they take equal account of all three dimensions of sustainability – social, environmental and economic. They thus cover the entire breadth of sustainability issues and their fields of action in order to achieve sustainable development.
As a company in a consumption-intensive industry, we fully support the Sustainable Development Goals. We contribute to the achievement of the goals through our corporate actions. To do this, we have identified the goals to which we make the greatest direct contributions.
Click on the icons to learn more about our contribution to each SDG.
Goal 1: No poverty
End poverty in all its forms and everywhere
Approximately 11% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty. In 2015, there were about 836 million people. They had to get by on less than US$1.25 per day. The global community has set a goal to end extreme poverty completely by 2030.
“Poverty is not natural, it was created by human beings and therefore can be overcome, as well as eradicated through appropriate measures. The eradication of poverty is not an act of mercy, but of justice.”
(Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate)
Goal 2: No hunger
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
795 million people still go hungry, and two billion people are malnourished. Hunger is not only the greatest health risk, but also one of the greatest obstacles to development. It contributes to flight and displacement, promotes a lack of prospects and violence.
Today, enough food is produced in the world to ensure sufficient nutrition for all people. However, due to lack of infrastructure, trade barriers and armed conflict, not all people have equal access to food.
“Hunger is not a question of charity. It is a question of justice.”
(Jacques Diouf, Senegalese diplomat)
Goal 3: Health and well-being
Ensure a healthy life for all people of all ages and promote their well-being.
Health is at once a goal, a prerequisite and an outcome of sustainable development. Its promotion is an imperative of humanity – in both developed and developing countries.
Worldwide, about 39 percent of the world’s population lives without health insurance, and in low-income countries the figure is more than 90 percent. Many people still die from diseases that would not have to be fatal if they were treated properly, or that could easily be prevented through vaccination. By strengthening health systems, and in particular by making vaccines widely available, we can succeed in reducing and even eradicating these diseases by 2030.
“It is time to constitute health care as part of a ‘social infrastructure’ that conceives of health as a public good that must be available to all.”
- Family friendly project arrangement
- Daily joint cooking
- Flexible work scheduling depending on ongoing projects
- Mentor/confidant as contact person for all employees
- Possibility to work from home (home office)
- Modern and ergonomically optimized office equipment
- Regular employee meetings to optimize the well-being of employees
- Sun terrace for joint lunch breaks or after-work sessions
- Free supply of beverages
- Free supply of fresh, organically grown fruit
Goal 4: Quality education
Ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
To deny people access to education is to deny them a basic human right – and important development opportunities for individuals and society. Education empowers people to improve their political, social, cultural, societal and economic situation.
Worldwide, 58 million children and 63 million young people still do not have access to primary and secondary school. 90 percent of all children with a disability never go to school. 781 million people are illiterate. There are 7.5 million functional illiterates in Germany alone.
“So let’s take up the fight against illiteracy, poverty and terror, and take our books and pens in hand to do so. They are our most effective weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education is at the beginning of everything.”
(Malala Yousafzai, child rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate)
- Regular training and education
- One-day basic workshop on sustainability for all employees
- Training costs covered by the company
- Above-average number of annual training positions
- Knowledge transfer to suppliers and customers on sustainability
- Sustainability suggestion scheme
Goal 5: Gender equality
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls to achieve self-determination
International studies and estimates show: Women are still disadvantaged and deprived of their rights almost everywhere in the world. The majority of the poor and the majority of all illiterate people are female. Every year, about 300,000 women die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth, 99 percent of them in developing countries. According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one-third of all women worldwide become victims of physical or sexual violence.
“A society in which girls and young women can realize their full intellectual, social and political potential is also a safe, healthy and prosperous society.”
(Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia)
- Balanced proportion of women and men in management positions and workforce as a whole
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Without water there is no life! We need it as drinking water, but also in agriculture to produce food. In 2008, the United Nations therefore recognized access to clean drinking water as a human right. Nevertheless, 748 million people still have to make do without clean drinking water. According to estimates, 5,000 children die worldwide on a single day because of this. 2.5 billion people have no access to basic sanitation.
“We will only achieve all the development goals if we understand how water, as a globally limited resource, is linked to the other goals.”
(Stefan Reuter, Executive Director of BORDA e.V.)
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Nearly 80% of the world’s energy still comes from fossil fuels. Fossil fuel combustion results in, among other things, costs to the health system from air pollution and costs from climate damage that harm the general public and not just the polluters.
“Putting nuclear power plants there without knowing where the nuclear waste can be finally stored is like pulling off a hand grenade before you know where you’re going to throw it.”
(Dieter Hildebrandt, cabaret artist, actor and book author)
- Almost complete use of LEDs in the production facility
- Exclusive purchase of green electricity for the entire company
- Extensive use of state-of-the-art and energy-saving technology
- Own thermal utilization of wood waste through a pelletizing plant with connected heating system
- Optimization of cutting and reduction of waste in production
- In planning: photovoltaics, roof greening, bee colony
Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
The economic growth of past decades has come at the expense of natural resources and the global climate and has long since reached ecological limits. It would take several planet Earths to enable all people to live the kind of life that is taken for granted in Germany today. Sustainable economic development reconciles social, ecological and economic development goals.
Only a growing economy can improve the living conditions for the majority of the population and provide the income growth that is necessary to fight poverty. But even in countries that are still poor today, it is necessary to make the growth in prosperity ecologically and socially sustainable.
“The problem is not that we want more prosperity. The problem is that we define prosperity in terms of material possessions.”
(Dennis Meadows, economist)
- Digitized and detailed recording of working hours
- Overtime compensation
- Regular review and compliance of working time load
- Modern and ergonomically optimized office workplaces
- Regular social events for all employees for team building
- Fair and transparent pricing with customers and suppliers
- 2% discount for customer neutralization of unavoidable CO2 emissions from completed projects
- Controlled and healthy growth with forward-looking expansion
Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Build resilient infrastructure, promote broad-based and sustainable industrialization, and support innovation
Non-existent or dilapidated infrastructure inhibits economic viability and thus promotes poverty. Infrastructure development should focus on sustainability, for example by promoting environmentally friendly transportation. Factories and industrial sites should also produce sustainably according to ecological criteria in order to avoid unnecessary environmental pollution.
“The purest form of madness is to leave everything as it is and at the same time hope that something will change.”(Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner in physics)
- Continuous process improvements with innovative production methods
- Modernization of machinery, energy-saving
- Expansion of hybrid share in company vehicles
Goal 10: Reduce inequalities
Reduce inequality within and between countries
In many countries in Asia and Latin America, the incomes of lower income groups increased more than those of higher income groups between 2007 and 2012. This is a good sign for reducing inequality around the world. Because lower inequality always means a better opportunity for participation. It is an important prerequisite for harnessing people’s economic, scientific and social potential.
Nevertheless, many things need to change by 2030. Where the income gap continues to widen, the unequal distribution of wealth causes social problems. In poor countries, it prevents growth and thus the eradication of poverty. In industrialized countries, increasing inequality threatens social cohesion and has a negative impact on economic development.
“If you were to increase the wealth of the bottom half to 1.5 or 2 percent, you would have achieved as much for the poor as 30 years of growth, and without further exceeding planetary boundaries.”
(Thomas Pogge, Professor of Philosophy)
- Fair pay for all employees and all genders and nationalities
- Balanced proportion of women in management positions
- Flat management structures, respectful interaction at eye level
- Support / implementation of social projects, financial or material assistance (kindergartens / integrative schools / homeless shelter)
- Annual inclusive Christmas crafts with impaired and non-impaired children
- Internal regulations “9 self-evident facts”
Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
There is no doubt that the age of cities has dawned. Already, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. But cities are fueling global warming. They each account for around 70 percent of energy consumption and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Dense traffic, intensive construction activity coupled with high levels of urban sprawl, high energy demand and enormous amounts of waste and wastewater – everything comes together in cities.
But their high density also makes cities the ideal starting point in the fight against climate change. This is because they can conserve resources on a large scale and exemplify sustainability, for example through land-saving and compact urban structures, low-emission transportation systems, energy-efficient buildings and regulated waste disposal.
“Sustainability means: can you keep doing things the way you are doing them today in the long run? If you can’t, then it’s not sustainable.”
(Anselm Görres, Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft e.V.)
Goal 12: Sustainable consumption and production
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Humanity has been living beyond its ecological means for a long time. This is particularly true for industrialized countries and the growing upper and middle classes in many emerging economies. Earth Overshoot Day marks the day in the year when more resources have been consumed worldwide than the planet can regenerate in the same year. In 1990, that was December 7; in 2016, it was August 8.
The change to a way of doing business and living that respects the natural limits of our planet can only succeed if we change our consumption habits and production techniques. Internationally valid rules for labor, health and environmental protection are important for this.
“Time and again, people spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need in order to impress people they don’t like”.
(Danny Kaye, actor, comedian and singer)
- Cutting optimization in wood processing
- Use of reusable system frames for stand constructions
- Avoidance of online ordering and support of local partners
Goal 13: Take action on climate change
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Water shortages, droughts, hurricanes and floods are just some of the many consequences of global climate change and causes of migration. Currently, about 20 million people are forced to leave their homes as a result of climate-related events.
Climate change does not stop at national borders and its impacts are not limited to individual policies, economic sectors or social groups. International efforts to mitigate climate change must also take into account the many interactions that occur among these sectors.
“Climate change is like an asteroid impact in super slow motion. We suppress it because of its slowness.”
(Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)
- Anchoring sustainability in the company’s mission statement
- Extensive use of cleaning agents, rinsing agents, detergents with organic labels
- Use of solvent-free, water-based coatings
- Consideration of sustainability in job advertisements and in the selection criteria for applicants
- Consistent waste separation and proper disposal
- Digitalization of accounting to reduce resources of paper and working time
- Use of aluminum trade show construction frames for sustainable resource conservation through multiple use
- Water dispenser with fixed water connection, triple filter system and carbonic acid mixer battery to supply all employees with drinking water
- triple insulating glazing in the office wing to minimize the necessary heating capacity
Goal 14: Life under water
Conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
The protection of biodiversity, its sustainable use and the equitable sharing of benefits from its use is an essential factor of sustainable development. Around 30 percent of global fish stocks are overfished. In the European Atlantic, the figure is 63 percent, and in the Mediterranean it is already 82 percent. Global warming and ocean acidification further threaten humanity’s livelihood.
Every year, around 10 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans, which do not biodegrade but break down into smaller and smaller particles. As marine animals mistake the small plastic particles for food, the plastic particles also enter the human food chain.
“In the stomachs of sperm whales stranded on the North Sea coast, veterinarians have found a lot of garbage. (…). During examinations, fishing nets, lines, old car parts, coffee capsules and packaging turned up in sometimes considerable quantities, (…).”
(Weser Kurier, May 18, 2016)
Goal 15: Life on land
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, … manage forests sustainably, combat desertification, end and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.
The loss of biodiversity is increasing, yet it is the basis of our lives – and it is being destroyed at a rapid pace. It is estimated that 60 percent of the world’s ecosystems have degraded or are being used unsustainably. 75 percent of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost since 1990. More than half of rainforests have already been destroyed for palm oil, agrofuels, animal feed and meat production.
“We must take seriously the warning that humanity has already crossed ‘planetary boundaries’ and is in the process of ruining ‘its’ planet.”
(Elmar Altvater, political scientist)
Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development …
… provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Peace, physical integrity, and protection through a stable legal system are indispensable prerequisites for sustainable development and prosperity. Too many people rely on institutions that are too weak and are without access to justice, to information, and to other basic freedoms.
Homicide rates still vary widely by region. While only one in 100,000 people is killed intentionally in East Asia, the figure is 23 in Latin America. 30 percent of all prisoners worldwide are held without trial. 25 percent of all children are still denied registration of their birth – a basic requirement for protection under the law.
“You have to take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence strengthens the tormentor, never the tormented.”
(Elie Wiesel, writer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate)
Goal 17: Partnerships to achieve the goals
Strengthen means of implementation and breathe new life into the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
The 17 goals can only be achieved through a strong global partnership. Governments, civil society and businesses must work together to implement them. “Leaving no one behind” is the overarching principle of the 2030 Agenda, and UN member states are committed to reaching those furthest behind first.
However, funding for official development assistance has declined in the poorest countries in recent years. Just five countries have met their pledge for the ODA ratio – which is public spending on development cooperation as a share of gross national income – of 0.7 percent. Germany also does not yet meet its ODA quota, but has steadily increased its spending in recent years.
“We can be the first generation to succeed in eradicating poverty, just as we could be the last to have the chance to save our planet.”
(Ban-Ki Moon, UN Secretary-General from 2007 to 2016)
- Participation and exchange in the fwd: industry association
- Project analysis and compensation of CO2 emissions by the international climate service provider
- Offer of project-related price reduction, in case of CO2 neutralization of the project by the customer
- Support for customers and suppliers to enforce sustainable criteria