Dairy as a driver of the sustainable development goals

To transform the world—benefitting all people and the planet we live on—the United Nations launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. 

The goals aim to drastically decrease poverty, hunger, climate change and inequality by 2030. Leaders of 193 countries unanimously signed the SDGs, calling for all sectors of society to work together to achieve the goals over the next 15 years.

The SDG framework encourages action across five themes: people, planet, prosperity, partnerships and peace. Food and agriculture have the opportunity to be key levers of action to drive success, and the dairy community is dedicated to doing its part to contribute. How? Here is an overview of how the dairy community is helping to shape the future of food and nutrition security through the lens of the SDG framework.

  • People—Dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt contribute nutrients, such as protein and calcium, to help nourish people. Milk is also the No. 1 food source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium, all nutrients of concern in the diets of both children over the age of 2 and adults in the U.S.
  • Planet—U.S. dairy cows generate the fewest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per gallon of milk. The U.S. dairy community is committed to continuous improvement when it comes to environmental stewardship, including a voluntary goal of 25 percent GHG emission reduction by 2020.
  • Prosperity—Up to 1 billion people globally have livelihoods connected to dairy, including 37 million women-led farms.
  • Partnerships—The Dairy Sustainability Framework facilitates multi-stakeholder collaboration commitments, covering environmental, economic and social sustainability factors.
  • Peace—Food security and sustainable food systems are a critical part of a peaceful society. Dairy is valuable for its nutrient contributions as well as employment opportunities for people and communities around the world.

The SDGs call for transformative change around the world, improving lives and fostering environmental stewardship. The dairy community is contributing to this call to action and is dedicated to being part of the solution. Find out more through our new infographics on the SDGs and dairy’s role in helping achieve them. I will be talking more about the triple burden of malnutrition and dairy’s role in being part of the solution in my next post.