SDG Observatory

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.


Decent Work and Economic Growth Globally

Extending past environmental and social, Sustainable Development Goal 8 directly addresses the third pillar of sustainability: economic sustainability. The targets and indicators in SDG 8 focus on promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, as well as full and productive decent employment for all. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world faced unprecedented challenges in the economic sector, with about 1.6 billion people at risk of losing their livelihoods.

To solve the social and environmental issues that economic challenges can cause, SDG 8 [Sustainable Development Goal 8] is intersectional in nature. Rather than just focusing on unchecked economic growth, this goal strives to address inequalities for disabled people and underrepresented groups in the workplace. Other targets include protecting labor rights, promoting sustainable tourism, and improving global resource efficiency. SDG 8 [Sustainable Development Goal 8] challenges stakeholders to not just focus on the amount of growth, but what causes that growth.

Read more about the targets and indicators.


Decent Work and Economic Growth Locally

North Texas is one of the fastest growing metropolitan regions in the United States, with more than one million people moving here since 2010. Sectors such as finance and insurance, business services, and transportation have created 900,000 net new jobs over the past decade. Even with the struggles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, jobs are expected to increase by over 4% in Texas over the next year.

With a continually booming economy, it is essential that areas in North Texas remain committed to equitable growth and decent work. The DFW [Dallas / Fort Worth] metroplex still struggles with high levels of poverty and limited access to affordable housing. At UT Dallas, focusing on SDG 8 [Sustainable Development Goal 8] ensures decent, safe employment for workers while also providing students with a globally focused business education.



Sustainable Procurement

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
A student displaying a scarf the reads “Whoosh”.

Photo Source: UTD Promotional Items

The University of Texas at Dallas accommodates many thousands of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors throughout the year. Many departments, offices, and University stores purchase garments such as shirts, sweaters, and graduation gowns. To reduce our overall footprint and environmental impact, The Office of Sustainability recommends evaluating the feasibility of purchasing garments that are made of recycled materials and/or supplied by suppliers who adhere to the Fair Labor Association’s Code of Conduct. The University of Texas at Dallas also strives to make a positive impact to support economic diversity and prosperity within the State of Texas. To nurture economic growth, UT Dallas supports locally based businesses, enterprises, and organizations through engagement, partnership, and business opportunities. Our commitment to partnering with small businesses showcases Target 8.3: promoting the growth of small and medium sized enterprises. Through promoting sustainable procurement, UT Dallas contributes to Target 8.4: improving global resource efficiency throughout the world.


Research & Academic Safety Group

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

The Research and Academic Safety group at UT Dallas works to address a variety of areas on campus related to research and environmental safety. These include, but are not limited to, Training and Access, Hazardous Waste, Equipment Moves and Decontamination, Disaster Recovery, Chemical Safety and Hygiene, Laser Safety, Biological Safety, and Radiation Safety. Our hope is to develop and foster a climate of responsible health, safety, and environmental practices to recognize the value of safety, prevent accidents, protect our environment, and aid in getting the job completed with pride and professionalism. We are committed to ensuring that our community has the knowledge and tools necessary to carry out safety responsibilities.

Read more about their services, and the Safety RAMPP program.

The Research & Academic Safety group, including the hazardous waste team, attends annual refresher trainings, including for RCRA, DOT, and HAZWOPER 40-hr. This ongoing professional development ensures highest level of compliance and safety for waste management, and communication to the generators of chemical waste.



SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
A researcher in safety gear prepares to enter a lab.

Photo Source: Comets United

One essential part of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8 is ensuring that all employees have a place to work that will not threaten their health or well-being. To ensure a safe learning and working environments for all, UT Dallas has prepared comprehensive protocols for the COVID-19 pandemic. All students and workers who are on campus fill out a Required Daily Health screening to monitor possible symptoms. Additionally, students and workers on campus are encouraged to self-report COVID-19 symptoms should they develop so proper quarantine protocols can be followed. Throughout the pandemic, UT Dallas has also kept our community updated through monitoring current case numbers identified through proactive testing of workers and on-campus residents. An extensive FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions] page is also available for faculty and staff to properly prepare individuals for possible scenarios related to COVID-19.

Read more about the Comets United response and see the FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions]  page.


Global Business

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Through the Naveen Jindal School of Management, UT Dallas offers a B.S. in Global Business for undergraduate students. This degree program is unique in focusing on project-based learning and requiring students to study abroad for one semester. There are seven concentrations offered through Global Business, including Energy Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Real Estate Investment Management. This degree plan emphasizes internationally focused economic development and prepares students for cross-cultural business communication.

For masters’ students, the Global Business course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of international business, covering macro-level environmental factors that affect international business today. Topics include globalization, country environments, culture, international trade and investment, regional economic integration, and the global monetary system. Through this course, students learn how to incorporate SDG 8 [Sustainable Development Goal 8] into their future careers.


Master of Public Administration Capstone Course

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Taught by Dr. John McCaskill, this Capstone course uses the project as the defining requirement. The students will spend 12-16 weeks working on a substantive project for presentation and submission to a local organization. In the past, students have provided program evaluations for nonprofits, social media plans for nonprofits, cost recovery analyses for city departments, a redesign of the building and permitting department of a local city, and several others. Those are the size and scope that a group of 8-12 students will take on. They produce a 25-50 page report and 20 minute presentation. This course is another example of how UT Dallas encourages partnerships between students and local businesses.


Goals / Future Work

  • Continue partnerships between UT Dallas and local businesses through coursework and engagement
  • Ensure a safe transition back to in-person learning following the COVID-19 pandemic for all students and employees


Other Work We Do

The programs highlighted here are just one piece of the work we do on campus to achieve SDG 8 [Sustainable Development Goal 8] . View the full dataset (PDF [Portable Document Format File] ), guided by the Association of Advancement in Higher Education (AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education)’s Sustainable Development Goal translation guide.


Learn More

  • Take free online courses regarding SDG 8 [Sustainable Development Goal 8] through SDG Academy
  • Learn more about the targets and indicators at the UN Global Goals website