SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Photo from UNDG

Photo from UNDG

Infrastructure is the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or community that provides the commodities and services to enable, sustain, and enhance living conditions in society. Roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, and communications are all components of infrastructure. So, to ultimately drive economic growth and development, we must invest in infrastructure and innovation to improve the function and well-being of communities. It is becoming more and more important to have sustainable, reliable, sound infrastructure as more of the world’s population starts living in cities. But it’s even more important to get the basic technologies that we take for granted in less developed countries.

“When the sun goes down, girls stay indoors. That’s just the way it was. Until the streetlights came. Now, simple tasks- like going to the shops at night to buy groceries- have become simple again,” – UNDP, Lights on in Lebanon

5 Facts and Figures

  • 2.3 billion people worldwide don’t have access to basic sanitation

  • More than 2.3 million people work in the renewable energy sector, and the number could increase to 20 million by 2030

  • Even though 84% of the global population has access to 3G, more than 4 billion people still do not have access to the internet; 90% of them are in developing countries.

  • There are 2.6 billion people in developing countries do not have access to consistent electricity

  • Infrastructure regulations cut businesses’ productivity by 40% in some low-income countries

5 Goals

  • Continuously develop quality, reliable, and sustainable infrastructure that is accessible for all to support economic development

  • Promote sustainable industrialization in the least developed countries

  • Support small businesses by increasing access to financial services for small-scale industries

  • Increase adoption of clean and environmentally conscious technology

  • Encourage and support research to encourage innovation and development

5 Ways to Help

  • Donate to causes such as the UN Development Program to help communities get solar-powered light kits and streetlights

  • Go on “guilt free holidays” and support carbon-neutral tourism by visiting places like Montenegro that are taking progressive steps to limiting the carbon footprint of tourism

  • Invest in renewable energy for your homes such as solar panels

  • Follow candidates that support renewable and green energy, research, and sustainable development

  • Encourage young girls to foster their love of science and technology

Sources: UN SDG website; UN Development Program

Photo of public charging stations in Montenegro from UNDP

Photo of public charging stations in Montenegro from UNDP

Innovation in the Fashion Industry

Throughout the past few weeks, we have seen the ugly side of the fashion industry where there is gender inequality, high rates of poverty, pollution, and exploitation. Because the fashion industry is a HUGE market that had $445 billion of global exports in 2015, many developing countries see garment production as a vital part of their economy. It is also the largest employer of women worldwide, and many companies do take action to support women’s empowerment in their value chains. There is huge potential for the fashion and garment industry to be a driving force in development, innovation, and sustainability of countries infrastructure, but changes must be made for that to happen. First of all, new methods of sourcing and production must be developed to improve the sustainability of the industry, there must be gender equality among workers, and research has to be done to improve the sustainability of the supply chain.

Photo by UNDP

Photo by UNDP

Learn More

Read more about SDG 9 here. You can also read about more SDG 9 success stories here