UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) have launched a report that introduces an innovative mechanism intended to simplify reporting by businesses on their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The groups launched the report during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2017 in New York, US.

The report titled, ‘Business Reporting on the SDGs: An Analysis of the Goals and Targets,’ takes the first step towards a harmonized set of indicators and methodology and common standard for corporate reporting on SDG progress. Currently, no single methodology exists for measuring and reporting business progress and impacts on the SDGs, and most firms use older reporting standards that predate the SDGs. The methodology will enable companies to report on the SDGs in a “comparable and effective” manner.

The report explains that three-quarters of UN Global Compact businesses are contributing to the SDGs in 2017; thus, transparent and effective reporting is critical. The Business and Sustainable Development Commission estimates that delivering on the SDGs could generate up to US$12 trillion in revenues and savings because of new opportunities and efficiency gains. The mechanism, set of indicators and relevant data aggregation across companies are expected to enable: the comparison of company information; better communication to governments regarding their progress; and sustainability reporting at a national level.

The report highlights ten future focus areas where further business engagement is necessary, including: peace and humanitarian action; climate action; oceans; sustainable cities; increasing small and medium enterprise support; sustainable supply chains; tackling inequality, fostering inclusion; scaling up private finance and investment; transformative partnerships; and protecting life on land. Tackling these issues will contribute to SDGs 16, 13, 14 15, 11, 10 and 17, among others.

The report is part of a three-year initiative to encourage and assist SDG reporting by corporations, and aligns with regular SDG reporting cycles. A complementary document titled, ‘A Practical Guide to Defining Priorities and Reporting,’ will be launched in January 2018, and will provide a structured approach to help businesses prioritize and report on relevant targets.

To read the report –  Business Reporting on the SDGs: An Analysis of the Goals and Targets – click here

Source: IISD