United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed and adopted by the United Nations member states, including Australia, in September 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 Goals underpinned by 169 targets guide local, state, national and international efforts towards sustainable development.

The value of the SDGs to New South Wales State of the Environment (SoE) reporting is a common, global language around sustainability that aligns closely with existing data and target outcomes.

As Australian businesses, organisations and government come together to take up the challenge of the SDGs, the current NSW SoE reporting offers tracking on seven SDGs, including 13 targets and indicators as represented in the table below. The 2021 NSW SoE is the first year of SDG monitoring.

Table 24.1: SDG alignment with NSW State of Environment current topics

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) SDG target number SDG target SDG indicator number SDG indicator NSW SoE indicator NSW topic
SDG Global Goal 2 icon - Zero Hunger
2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality 2.4.1 Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture Proportion of water extraction covered by water sharing plans Water Resources
Environmental share of available water Water Resources Soil Condition
2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed Indicators 2.5.2 Proportion of local breeds classified as being at risk, not-at-risk or at unknown level of risk of extinction Number of threatened species, communities and populations Threatened Species
Number of marine species listed as threatened under NSW legislation Threatened Species
SDG Global Goal 6 icon - Clean Water and Sanitation
6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all Indicators 6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services Drinking water quality – compliance score Urban Water Supply
6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

Wetland Extent

Wetland Condition Wetlands
SDG Global Goal 7 icon - Affordable and clean energy
7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix 7.2.1 Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption Total NSW non-renewable energy consumption Energy Consumption
7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency 7.3.1 Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP Per capita residential energy consumption Energy Consumption
Annual NSW per capita greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse Gas Emissions
SDG Global Goal 9 icon - Industries, innovation and infrastructure
9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all Indicators 9.1.2 Passenger and freight volumes, by mode of transport Vehicle kilometres travelled (total) Transport
Vehicle kilometres travelled (per person) Transport
Public transport use overall trips Transport
9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities Indicators 9.4.1 CO2 emission per unit of value added Resource use by the economy Economic Activity and the Environment
Decoupling of CO2 emissions from NSW Gross State Product Economic Activity and the Environment
Emissions intensity of the economy Economic Activity and the Environment
SDG Global Goal 11 icon - Sustainable cities and communities
11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage 11.4.1 Total expenditure (public and private) per capita spent on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by type of heritage (cultural, natural, mixed and World Heritage Centre designation), level of government (national, regional and local/municipal), type of expenditure (operating expenditure/investment) and type of private funding (donations in kind, private non-profit sector and sponsorship) Area of terrestrial reserve system Protected Areas and Conservation
Growth in off-reserve protection Protected Areas and Conservation
Area of marine protection Protected Areas and Conservation
11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management 11.6.1 Proportion of urban solid waste regularly collected and with adequate final discharge out of total urban solid waste generated, by cities Per person waste generated Waste and Recycling
Total per person solid waste recycled Waste and Recycling
Litter items per 1,000m2 Waste and Recycling
Total waste generated Waste and Recycling
Concentrations of particles (PM10) Air Quality
Concentrations of particles (PM2.5) Air Quality
Concentrations of carbon monoxide Air Quality
Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide Air Quality
Concentrations of sulfur dioxide Air Quality
Concentrations of lead Air Quality
SDG Global Goal 12 icon - Responsible consumption and production
12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse 12.5.1 National recycling rate, tons of material recycled Total waste generation Waste and Recycling
Total and per person solid waste recycled Waste and Recycling
SDG Global Goal 15 icon - Life on land
15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements 15.1.1 Forest area as a proportion of total land area Area of marine protection Protected Areas and Conservation
Area of terrestrial reserve system Protected Areas and Conservation
River condition index (RCI) for NSW rivers River Health
Health of fish assemblages River Health
15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development 15.4.1 Coverage by protected areas of important sites for mountain biodiversity Reserve representativeness (infographic) Protected Areas and Conservation
15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species 15.5.1 Red List Index Number of threatened species, communities and populations Threatened Species
Key threatening processes (KTPs) number listed in NSW (infographic) Threatened Species