How Shields can help you achieve your Sustainable Development Goals


Achieving your Sustainable Development Goals can be tricky, especially in the current climate, but it’s something we all need to be working towards. Find out how we’re achieving our Sustainable Development Goals and helping other businesses reach their goals too.


In 2015, the United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to achieve a more prosperous and sustainable future for both the planet and everyone who lives on it. As part of this plan, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set as a blueprint to tackle the key issues and challenges that must be addressed to achieve a better world and a brighter future. 

The GSMA’s 2021 Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals updates the telecommunication industry’s progress towards its commitments to the SDGs. This report shows that the telecommunications sector increased its impact across every SDG but that the global Covid-19 pandemic has served to slow this progress. The report also indicates that some of the most significant improvements in the sector were seen across SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being and SDG 4: Quality Education. However, despite this progress, the report highlights that the telecommunication industry is not currently on track to maximise its overall contribution by 2030, with the least improvement seen in SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production in Europe. 

Factors such as the mining of raw materials, manufacturing processes and the disposal of broken or unwanted items are impacting the progress of SDG 12 in the mobile industry. Here at Shields, we have developed a cutting-edge platform, MarketPlace, to enable the sector to procure and manufacture more sustainably. MarketPlace is an innovative software system that offers telecommunications network providers an alternative to purchasing hardware from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). By providing operators with a real-time global view of their assets, MarketPlace identifies the most efficient source for the products required, making it possible to reuse or refurbish existing equipment internally rather than purchasing new products.  

SDG 12 aims to achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. At Shields we can help facilitate this as product life cycles are extended through refurbishment, thereby reducing the need for raw material extraction. This goal also seeks to reduce waste generation dramatically; an area that we can support in the telecommunication industry. For the financial year, 20/21 Shields had a 95.91% recovery rate for all downstream recycling while the re-use of our products went up from 26.42% to 43.14%. The benefits of these rates are passed on to our clients, who are then able to contribute to a truly circular economy.  

Here at Shields, we recognise that these essential goals are interconnected and that they must be all furthered to progress the 2030 Agenda. In addition to supporting the telecommunication industry in the advancement of SDG 12, Shields’ sustainable business model can also aid the industry in furthering SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals.  

For more information on our Shields’ EcoVadis scorecard or other ESG practices, please contact the team at: 

EMEA: [email protected]  or Americas: [email protected]