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Sustained Fun and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Ever wondered what the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are and how businesses can use them to focus their mission and make business decisions? Read on to find out how Sustained Fun's business activities aligns with the UN SDGs and helps us to measure our impact.

What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals are an urgent call to action by all countries to work in a global partnership for the peace and prosperity for people and the planet. They recognise that ending poverty, improving health and education and reducing inequality has to go hand-in-hand with preventing climate change and preserving our oceans and forests. They were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 and have a goal date of 2030.

Why are they important to Sustained Fun?

At Sustained Fun we are aware that most of the environmental problems we’re living with, and will live with in the future have been caused by unchecked capitalism - businesses whose sole purpose is to make money for themselves and shareholders without consideration for where the raw materials for products are coming from, how much pollution is created in the production of products and where the product and packaging ends up at the end of its life.

50% of global carbon emissions are created by 7% of the population - the richest ½ billion people. And if you’re wondering if you’re included in this global rich list - if you’re reading this, you are. NZ’s minimum wage puts you in the top 5% of the world’s population. 

New Zealanders produce over 3.6 kg of rubbish every day - this is 5 times the global average and makes us the 10th most wasteful nation on earth per capita. We’re worse than the United States - a country we like to vilify for their consumption and waste.

Sustained Fun believes that the only way to combat the business-as-usual attitude of profit at the expense of the environment is for companies to operate in an ethical and sustainable way, with the planet and people having equal importance to profit. 

And it’s important that businesses-for-good, like Sustained Fun, are not greenwashing their customers. Aligning with the SDGs, measuring against the targets and reporting on them annually shows our customers what we are doing and how we are improving, as well as areas where it’s harder to reduce our impact. We hope that this transparency and honesty will allow customers to see our values and how they are embedded in Sustained Fun’s practices. 

Which goals does Sustained Fun align with and measure against?

There are 17 SDGs and while Sustained Fun supports many of them, our core business activities directly relate to three:  12 - Responsible Production and Consumption, 13 - Climate Action and 14 - Life Below Water.
Each goal has a number of targets. Below are the goals Sustained Fun aligns with and how we work towards the targets.

12 - Responsible Production and Consumption

The global ‘material footprint’ increased by 70% between 2000 and 2017. For people living in poverty an increase in their consumption is vital for the health and well being of themselves, their families and their communities. But for those of us living in plenty we can’t keep consuming bigger and better and newer products and expect the world to have unlimited capacity to provide us with everything we want. We need to shop carefully, considering the environment by choosing reusables over disposables and then looking after them well. 

Businesses need to produce goods and services with the minimum environmental impact and take responsibility for the product and packaging from all stages - from raw materials to end of life. They shouldn’t encourage people towards unlimited consumption, or to get into debt to purchase their products.

UN SDG Target

Overview of how Sustained Fun works to this target.

Some examples of how Sustained Fun's actions support this target.

12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Our vision is to eliminate the 3.2 billion pieces of single-use water balloon rubbish that is produced annually. We have designed a product to prevent waste. 

Every EcoSplat reusable water balloon replaces 3000 pieces of single-use water balloon rubbish.

  • EcoSplat reusable water balloons can be used over and over again for years of water fights.
  • We’ve designed the packaging to be recyclable and use the minimum of resources.
  • We work with our suppliers to reduce packaging waste.

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle

Sustained Fun is a small company but we don’t think that’s any excuse to sit back and wait for bigger companies to take the lead. Sustainable practices have been incorporated into all levels of Sustained Fun’s operations since the formation of the business.

  • We measure carbon and minimise it, offsetting any carbon we can’t reduce.
  • Wherever possible we use sea freight and local suppliers to lower carbon emissions.
  • We use EVs and our electricity is 100% renewable and carboNZero certified.
  • We report our sustainable practices in an annual impact report.

12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

Most of us are unaware of the full environmental consequences of our choices. We want everyone to know about the problems with the linear business model of much of the toy industry balloons and show that there are more fun alternatives that are better for the environment.

  • Educate our customers on the problems with single-use water balloons and marine pollution
  • Bust the myth that balloons are biodegradable
  • Show how reusables are more fun, cost less and are better for the environment than single-use.


13 - Climate Action

We need to take urgent action to prevent future catastrophic effects of climate change. But fossil fuel use and consumption is not decreasing fast enough. If governments and big business aren't taking action then individuals and smaller companies need to push them onto a more sustainable path through our consumer choices.

UN SDG Target

Overview of how Sustained Fun works to this target.

Some examples of how Sustained Fun’s actions support this target.

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

Sustained Fun's focus is on growing climate confident kids through play. Kids that love the environment are more likely to become adults who want to look after it and Sustained Fun is focused on producing toys that address this.

  • Products that educate parents and children on climate change.
  • Resources on how to reduce climate anxiety in kids.
  • Production of toys that focus on climate change and reducing climate anxiety.


14 - Life Below Water

Over 3 billion people worldwide rely on the oceans for their livelihoods but the health of the ocean is under severe threat with plastic pollution one of the main problems. The global toy industry produces 1 million tonnes of waste every year and 90% of toys are made from plastic.

Goal 14 is generally the least implemented of the SDGs but it's the one that is closest to our hearts. Anthea has a degree in Marine Science, was recipient of the Rolex Underwater Scholarship and is a qualified dive instructor while Helen studied Ecology and is most concerned about biodiversity. We both think that plastic marine pollution is a needless problem, and one that really highlights our out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude. To use the ocean as a dumping ground for the pollution caused by a small minority of the global population is thoughtless and selfish. The loss of the health of the oceans and death of marine life due to pollution causes us both pain and is why Sustained Fun was developed. It is our driving force and reason for being.

UN SDG Target

Overview of how Sustained Fun works to this target.

Some examples of how Sustained Fun’s actions support this target.

14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

Toys are designed to be fun for longer and reduce waste. Our fun shouldn’t be at the detriment of other species’ lives.

  • EcoSplat reusable water balloons eliminate the rubbish caused by single-use water balloons.
  • Packaging is plastic free.


Why only two goals?

Sustained Fun’s activities align with another five SDGs but they are not part of our core work. We have chosen to measure against two goals to keep our mission focused. The secondary goals that are supported by our business operations are:

UN Sustainable Development Goals Icon 5 - Gender Equality. 2030 AgendaUN Sustainable Development Goals Icon 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth. 2030 AgendaUN Sustainable Development Goals Icon 10 Reduced Inequalities. 2030 AgendaUN Sustainable Development Goals Icon 15 - Life on Land. 2030 Agenda

In what other ways does Sustained Fun use the goals?

The UN SDGs are an agreement between nations and can only be achieved when nations, businesses and individuals work together. We don’t all have to be working on all the goals all the time, but through collaboration and support for one another we can tackle all the challenges humanity faces. 

Our Suppliers Where possible Sustained Fun preferentially chooses suppliers who share our values, especially when they have made a public commitment to people and the planet. Sometimes this is measured via the SDGs and sometimes through a similar tool (like Toitū or BCorp).

Our Customers We want Sustained Fun's products to be available to as many people as possible but we especially love working with customers whose values align with ours. We can then work together to help achieve our respective social and environmental goals.

Sustained Fun is a business for good. Our driving force is to reduce marine pollution through rethinking and redesigning toys and to promote a circular economy. We use the Sustainable Development Goals to focus our work so we know we’re playing our part in preventing climate change and preserving our oceans.

Learn more about the SDGs:
Learn more about NZ’s progress in achieving the SDGs:
Find out which SDGs you feel most strongly about: Bead and Proceed

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