Sustainable Development Goals in corporate reporting
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the 193 UN member states in 2015 provide a shared framework for tackling the biggest and most important sustainability challenges in the world: from environmental, economic, social and cultural development, with each goal which branches off into a separate list of indicators and precise objectives.
Reaching the SDGs requires concrete commitment not only from governments and companies, but also from investors. It is estimated that by 2030 it will take 90 trillion dollars to reach the SDGs.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the United Nations Global Compact have published ten useful business recommendations to meet investor needs and to stimulate more investment to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
It is no coincidence that the three entities (GRI, PRI and the United Nations Global Compact) represent the world's leading organizations in the areas of sustainability reporting, corporate responsibility and responsible investment.
The recommendations then focus on how corporate reporting can respond to investor needs to mobilize sustainable and long-term funding needed to achieve the SDGs.
Helping companies to measure and manage their impacts on SDGs
Fiona Reynolds CEO of PRI, stated that "the globally agreed SDGs are an articulation of the most urgent environmental, social and economic issues in the world and as such, act as a definitive list of material factors that investors should consider as part of their fiduciary obligation".
The joint initiative has the main objective of helping companies to measure and manage their impacts on SDGs. This once again confirms the priority role of the private sector in the fight against climate change: and raising awareness of the importance of achieving the SDGs that a long-term sustainable business model can be affirmed in the private sector.
Discussion of the role of the private sector in accelerating progress in SDGs and how business decisions have a direct impact on specific objectives is of paramount importance.
A global challenge: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Climate change is a global issue and the action of governments and institutions is not enough: this means that the private sector can play a very important role in the fight against climate change, concentrating the activities of reducing emissions into low-cost options and in the conscious choice of financing in line with the company objectives and mission.
If sustainable development goals (SDGs) are to be achieved, policymakers must focus less on individual goals and more on the links between the 17 goals to create a cleaner, more sustainable and fairer world by 2030.
The recommendations require an effort by the whole company, and not only, with the support of organizations such as GRI, PRI and the UN Global Compact, companies and the investor community should continue to work and learn together to promote the best reporting practices on corporate sustainability in support of the SDGs.
This will allow the private sector and investors to contribute significantly to the 2030 Agenda, opening up opportunities for businesses and investors - and ultimately the whole of society - to benefit.