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Hearing the term UN SDGs more frequently than ever? You’re on the only one! As climate change, poverty and other global issues continue to dominate the news, we are confronted with the need to make a positive change on a daily basis. And the UN SDGs are the official global framework designed by the United Nations to help you become a changemaker. We’ve put together a summary of the five Ws of the UN SDGs to help you understand exactly what they are and how they work.


In 2015, the United Nations set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. They address the global challenges we face on a daily basis – from poverty, inequality, establishing peace, to fighting climate change.

The UN SDGs are based on three core elements that are always interlinked: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. Each of the 17 goals falls within at least one of these three categories.

It is not only the United Nations and countries’ governments  that can take action towards implementing the UN SDGs. It is of great importance that schools, communities, families, and individuals become the changemakers of today. We can only foster a positive impact around the world by acknowledging the 17 UN SDGs and living with them on a daily basis.That is why educational institutions like the International Baccalaureate are incorporating the UN SDGs in their curricula, and why we at CAS Trips work on an average of eight goals per student trip.


The term sustainable development has been defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (United Nations). In other words, we as global citizens are making a positive change, so that the next generation can live their lives to the fullest extent possible. In order to measure success, the UN has subdivided the 17 UN SDGs into 169 targets.

Therefore, the following 17 UN SDGs have been established:

  1.     End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2.     End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  3.     Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4.     Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5.     Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6.     Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7.     Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8.     Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9.     Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


The UN SDGs were set into action in 2015 and were given a timespan of 15 years. The aim is to implement the 17 goals by achieving the 169 targets by 2030.


The UN SDGs are a global initiative and countries are expected to take ownership and establish national frameworks to reflect and achieve the goals. It is only through international collaboration and national policies, plans and programs, that positive change will come into effect. Countries will be responsible for showcasing the progress they have made at a national, regional and global review meeting by 2030.

CAS Trips has ensured that the UN SDGs are integrated into the itineraries of all trips. You can check out our exciting destinations here.


The most important question – but why? Why has the UN implemented the sustainable development goals? And why has CAS Trips made it their mission to incorporate them during each trip?

The answer is simple: Because of you.

The UN SDGs have been put in place so that the next generation can live their lives to the fullest and are not increasingly harmed by hurricanes, world hunger, incurable diseases, and the degradation of our planet Earth.

Together we can be changemakers. It is our mission at CAS Trips to show the younger generation that implementing the 17 UN SDGs can become part of your daily life beyond aa one week volunteer trip – it can truly become a way of living. We at CAS Trips work together with local partners and charities in order to work towards reaching the 169 targets set forth by the UN. Our trips and the Changemaker Challenge guide students in understanding, reflecting and living the UN SDGs to the best of their ability.

Join us on one of our adventures around the world to learn about the UN SDGs, and how you can make a positive change.