Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at Friends House

The Sustainable Development Goals and our Sustainability Strategy Plan 2030

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are part and parcel of our Sustainability Strategy Plan 2030. This is how the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) describes the SDGs: “with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.” Each Goal identifies a series of short or long-term targets to be achieved and further guidance on how to meet them, thereby providing additional support for making the sustainable transformation we need.

There is considerable alignment between the SDGs and Quaker values: Equality and Justice; Peace; Truth and Integrity; and Simplicity and Sustainability. Wherever possible we will reference the SDGs in delivering our strategy and in our actions.

About the Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted in September 2015 and came into force on 1 January 2016.

The UNAI then adds: “The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.”

Our current initiatives supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

- We stock Fairtrade goods

- We are a Living Wage employer

- We support others by selling their products in the Quaker Centre Café

  • Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

We offer a suspended soup scheme at Friends House, in the café, which enables those less fortunate to have a warm meal.

  • Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

We make sure that we always offer healthier options on our menus. We highlight food allergens and provide dietary alternatives (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free…). We recently launched our Go Green day delegate packages, which are healthier and feature less starchy carbohydrates.

  • Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

- We provide customers with information and advice on healthier food and offer alternatives

- The Quaker Centre Bookshop offers a wide range of educational books

  • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Quakers in Britain became a Pay Compare Mark employer in 2017. This mark is awarded to companies and organisations which publish the gap between their highest and lowest paid worker. There is currently a 1:4 ratio between the highest and lowest paid member of staff.

  • Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

- We sell Belu Water bottles, which help raise funds for WaterAid UK

- We twin our toilets with the help of Toilet Twinning

  • Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

- We use 100% renewable electricity and Green gas at Friends House

- We are working on options to produce renewable energy

  • Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

We work with disenfranchised groups, offering work placement and employment opportunities. In 2015, we started working with Douglas House Project (DHP). DHP supports ex-offenders with personality disorders and helps them transition back into the community. We helped them set up their social enterprise bakery and offered work placements at Friends House. We are now launching a new project with DHP and London Pathways Partnership: "Bake the difference". Ex-offenders will learn how to bake under the supervision of a Training and Development Chef. The bakery will be located in Friends House, and items will be sold in the café and served in our meeting rooms.

  • Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

We stock Fairtrade goods and support others by selling their goods in the Quaker Centre Café, including Divine Chocolate UK, Zaytoun and more.

  • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

We offer support to colleagues in Quaker Peace and Social Witness and Friends in their work to reduce inequality in the world.

  • Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

We offer support to colleagues in Quaker Peace and Social Witness and Friends in their work to create Sanctuary Meetings.

  • Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We measure and report our impact widely with our stakeholders. Since 2009, we have reduced our carbon footprint by 29%. You can find all our environmental achievements in our Annual Review 2017 [PDF: 2.02MB – new window].

  • Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

- We use 100% renewable electricity and greener gas

- We offer information and books to engage others

  • Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

We follow the Marine Stewardship Council guidelines and only procure MSC certified fish for our catering.

  • Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

- We work with the Soil Association, and we have retained our Food For Life Served Here Gold award since 2012

- We care about animal welfare, and we have partnered with CreatureKind to reduce the amount of animal products in our catering by 20 per cent over the next two years

- We have received the Good Egg and Good Chicken Award from Compassion in World Farming

  • Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

We offer support to colleagues in Quaker Peace and Social Witness and Friends in their work to promote a peaceful and just world.

  • Goal 17: Revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

We sell fairtrade products in the café and source fairtrade food for our event catering.

If you would like to experience green events at Friends House and see how we put the SDGs in practice, contact our Sales and Events team now: 020 7663 1100 or events@quaker.org.uk.