The Centre for Volunteering recognises that its’ work and advocacy encompasses international goals in relation to Social Responsibility including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Centre for Volunteering (The Centre) has a number of functions which operate to provide information, education, capacity building, and enhancing social capital for individual volunteers, corporate partners, Volunteering Involving Organisations (VIOs) and other organisations including government organisations. These programs and functionalities operate to enrich the development of volunteering in the community by assisting organisations and individuals to maximise their potential through the provision of high-quality education, appropriate training, the matching of advertised volunteer positions, volunteers and corporate entities.
The SDGs allow VIOs to make decisions in relation to how they conduct their own operations to benefit not just themselves but to contribute to society as a whole.
The ultimate goal of the SDGs is to add to human capital and growth in all societies. Principally, the SDGs provide ideals and goals which then may be turned into actions and targets for organisations to implement, taking into account their own resources and challenges.
Goal 3: Target: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.
The Centre both directly and indirectly contributes to this goal and target by providing to the wellbeing of individuals and groups by matching them with appropriate opportunities to volunteer. It is anecdotally acknowledged that volunteers feel a sense of achievement and purpose from their volunteering. Volunteering also allows volunteers not only to be contributing members of the society in which they live but also to improve their skill sets, acquire new skills, and enhance their mental health.
Goal 4: Target: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The Centre indirectly contributes to this target by supporting VIOs to provide training for their volunteers and encouraging volunteers to participate in any education and training which is made available to them in their volunteer roles.
Goal 5: Target: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The Centre directly contributes to this target by recognising and valuing the contribution of women in volunteering through its annual Volunteer of the Year Awards which are awarded at both State and Regional levels. Further, The Centre also indirectly contributes to this target by making available roles specifically for women advertised in volunteer seeking websites.
Target 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
The Centre indirectly affects this target by being a consumer who is cognisant of the importance and scarcity of water in the world, particularly in its home state of New South Wales and actively seeks to promote responsible water consumption within its own sphere of operation.
Goal 7: Target: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The Centre indirectly affects this target by being a consumer who is familiar with principles of clean energy, the aims of renewable energy, and the benefits of energy efficiency in its everyday operation.
Goal 8: Target: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The Centre contributes indirectly to this goal by matching volunteers to volunteer positions. In their volunteer roles the volunteer may: acquire new skills, or polish up and make market ready skills that they may have not used frequently. Participation in volunteering projects may also lead, in the longer term, to employment for those who seek employment. For others it offers a chance to make connections within the community and contribute their skills and time for causes and efforts which enrich their communities while enhancing the ‘feel good’ factor.
Goal 11: Target: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
The Centre indirectly contributes to this goal by assisting VIOs who provide support with services operated by volunteers for those in vulnerable situations, e.g. women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
Goal 12: Target: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
The VRS directly contributes to this goal by reducing its own waste through recycling and by the use of recycled resources such as copy paper and photocopier ink etc.
Goal 13: Target: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
The Centre indirectly affects this target by:
• actively seeking to promote responsible water consumption within its own sphere,
• being a consumer who is familiar with principles of clean energy, the aims of renewable energy, and the benefits of energy efficiency in its everyday operation, and
• reducing its own waste through recycling and by the use of recycled resources such as copy paper and photocopier ink etc.
Goal 14: Target: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The Centre indirectly contributes to this goal by assisting VIOs who promote and carryout reclamation work in relation to the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of natural resources including land management and foreshore clean-up.
Goal 15: Target: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
The Centre indirectly contributes to this goal by assisting VIOs who promote and carryout reclamation work in relation to the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of natural resources including land management.
Goal 17: Target: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
The Centre indirectly contributes to this goal by promotion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals amongst its partners, stakeholders and volunteers.
NOTE: An identified part of the process of a VIO may not EXACTLY fit the SDG target as described. This is acceptable as the SDG targets are not prescriptive. The identified targets are indicative of the matters which allow organisations/nations/states to actively contribute to achieving the SDGs. More importantly, VIOs will not meet all of the named Sustainable Development Goals and it is not required that they do so.
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