SDG 1: No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms, everywhere.

SDG1 targets the universal eradication of poverty in all its forms. This includes improving the resilience of the poor and vulnerable to climate-related and other economic, social, and environmental shocks and disasters.

Although income poverty has fallen sharply in some regions in the past 20 years, considerable challenges remain. Recent economic shocks and escalating conflicts have led to a resurgence of poverty across different regions and countries. Poverty thus remains a pressing challenge with 8.6% of the world’s population living in extreme poverty in 2018. This is a fall from 16% in 2010, but progress is slowing. Baseline projections suggest that the number living in extreme poverty will remain at 6% in 2030, meaning hundreds of millions will still have to survive on less than US$1.25 a day.

Poverty is also more than just the lack of an income. Globally, 8% of those with jobs and their families lived in extreme poverty in 2018. In addition, certain groups are disproportionately represented among the poor and face additional constraints to escaping poverty, such as limited access to productive resources and markets. These include women, people with disabilities, children, and indigenous peoples.

How the cement and concrete industry is making a positive difference

The provision of essential infrastructure and services is central to the transformation of communities out of poverty: energy, transportation and communications, water and sanitation, education, healthcare, affordable decent housing[1] – these are all necessary elements for and visible signs of the elimination of poverty.

As a building material that is durable, disaster resilient, widely available and cost effective, concrete is a key element in the construction of the sustainable infrastructure that is a prerequisite to all SDG1 goals. And it is especially relevant to SDG1.5, which aims to reduce the vulnerability of the poor to the climate-related and natural disasters that can cause severe damage to people’s resources and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, the industry’s presence in many geographies, often as the largest employer in a community, both directly and indirectly along its supply chains and through links with retailers, means it plays an important role in providing the safe and fair work and other benefits that are the most powerful approach for driving economic growth, improving quality of life, and eradicating poverty in the long run. The industry is also a large contributor to government finances through taxes and royalties, helping to fund national and regional development programmes that positively impact SDG1 goals.

As part of the GCCA Sustainability Framework, GCCA members pledge to support the healthy development of the communities in which they operate and to consider the impact of business decisions on those communities, as well as their supply chains, while also committing to stand against corruption in any form.

Case studies

Boosting employment in rural India

Creating local micro-sewing businesses for female entrepreneurs

Business call to action: Affordable and Integral Housing Solutions

Argos: Home for me

[1] Affordable housing is defined as housing that is appropriate for the needs of a range of very low to moderate income households and priced so that these households are also able to meet other basic living costs.