What is the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW)?

The European Sustainable Development Week is an event aimed at accelerating Europe’s ecological transition. Explanations.

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September 19, 2022

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The European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) is an event aimed at promoting sustainable development in many European countries. 👋

According to the IPCC, we must have reversed our greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 if we want to limit global warming to +2°C.

How? By achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN).

What is ESDW? What is the program? Who is involved? Greenly explains. 👇

What is the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW)?

A French ecological initiative that became European

The European Sustainable Development Week is an initiative to limit global warming.

Launched in 2003 in France, this event is organized each year by the public authorities of France, in order to raise awareness towards sustainable development, as well as good practices to adopt.

Regarding the success of this event in France, this approach was extended to the entire European Union in 2015.

In fact, protecting the environment and fighting global warming requires raising awareness about sustainable development - and respecting the 2030 Agenda.

👉 As a reminder, the 2030 Agenda is an international roadmap to eradicate poverty and to ensure the transition of our societies towards sustainable development. Adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations, it stands for the planet, people, peace, partnerships and prosperity, and is based on the achievement of 17 objectives.

In practice, the ESDW is punctuated by multiple activities aimed at explaining the consequences of global warming on the planet, society and daily life, for example.

The belief of the European Sustainable Development Week is simple: we can all contribute to creating a sustainable world.

Why is this meeting crucial?

The concept of sustainable development was formalized in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio. Sustainable development is defined as “a development model that meets current needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainable development is based on three main pillars:

  • economic;
  • social;
  • environmental.

👉 Taking into account the environmental theme alone is not enough to make our sustainable transition. This must be complemented by social, economic, but also cultural, political and health problems.

In short, we have eight years left to meet the 2030 Agenda. That is the reason why the European Sustainable Development Week promotes and raises awareness, but above all, promotes the engagement of citizens, associations, businesses and communities across Europe.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals to meet?

Through the activities presented during the European Sustainable Development Week, participants become familiar with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.

Here they are:

  • eradication of poverty;
  • fight against hunger;
  • access to health;
  • access to quality education;
  • gender equality;
  • access to safe water and sanitation;
  • use of renewable energy;
  • access to decent jobs;
  • innovation and infrastructure;
  • reducing inequalities;
  • sustainable cities and communities;
  • responsible consumption;
  • fight against climate change;
  • protection of aquatic flora and fauna;
  • protection of terrestrial flora and fauna;
  • justice and peace;
  • partnerships for the Global Goals.

👋 Adopted in 2015, these objectives are interdependent and require the involvement of the entire world population. Every year, States are encouraged to report on their progress.

What do you need to know about the European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW)?

What is the agenda?

This year’s European Sustainable Development Week runs from September 18 to October 8, 2022. The theme is “Act on a daily basis”.

Indeed, each of us can, and must, act – especially through small daily gestures. They are part of a responsible citizen’s approach to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable society.

👉 We mustn't underestimate the importance of eco-gestures, since they are actively involved in the transformation of our societies.

How can I participate in this initiative?

Stakeholders have the opportunity to present a sustainable development initiative such as:

  • a conference;
  • an exhibition;
  • a film screening;
  • an associative activity;
  • an education project;
  • the organization of markets.

The only imperative is that project promoters - like public institutions, associations, educational institutions or companies - must register on the dedicated platform in order to join the European initiative.

How to submit your non-profit project? It’s simple: once the project has been defined - be careful, it must absolutely promote one of the 17 sustainable development goals - project leaders must present their idea on the ESDW platform.

Once the project has been validated, they are required to communicate about their participation.

👉 Note: Communication materials are provided by the event.

Start the ecological transition of your company

Raising awareness at the European Sustainable Development Week is key to building a better world.

However, the best way to successfully transition to a green company is to measure its carbon emissions – thanks to a carbon assessment.

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Ines Gendre

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