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Corporate Reporting on SDGs: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Opinion by Camila Corradi Bracco (amsterdam, the netherlands)
  • Inter Press Service

Over the previous 4 years, GRI has championed the participation of corporations in measuring their efficiency on the SDGs. As we stay up for the Decade of Action wanted to realize the SDGs, it’s clear that additional progress shall be wanted, together with doing extra to extend personal sector contributions.

Progress up to now

At the top of 2020, a four-year Action Platform for Reporting on the SDGs, from GRI and UN Global Compact, concluded. This included a Corporate Action Group (CAG) that related enterprise representatives in a peer studying platform, which efficiently helped corporations outline and enhance their SDGs reporting.

Research on CAG members revealed:

    1. Increased readability on easy methods to have interaction with the SDGs from a enterprise perspective
    2. Improvements in how they measured SDGs efficiency
    3. Better prioritization of probably the most related SDGs
    4. More integration of the SDGs into enterprise decision-making processes

However, the findings additionally point out that many corporations proceed to face challenges with understanding and disclosing their SDGs contributions, with alternatives to make company reporting extra related and efficient.

Improving information high quality and addressing gaps

Reporting on priorities on the SDG goal stage, inside every of the overarching Goals, and linking them to the enterprise technique, is usually lacking. Overall, deeper connections between materials matters with SDG targets and company priorities are wanted.

We additionally see there are alternatives to additional discover the hyperlinks between SDG priorities and the contributions of corporations within the nations and jurisdictions the place they function.

Most importantly, company reporting on the SDGs usually focuses on optimistic contributions that corporations make to the SDGs, with a scarcity of transparency and accountability for unfavorable impacts. This subject was additionally highlighted by KPMG analysis in December.

Reporting that has influence

Identifying SDG priorities all through the worth chain is a fancy enterprise, as is demonstrating the cause-and-effect relationship between SDG contributions and enterprise efficiency.

Moreover, due to the interconnected and interdependent nature of the SDGs, corporations have to establish and take account of synergies and trade-offs between optimistic and unfavorable impacts.

Efforts to quantify impacts on the SDGs and contextualize them (for instance, contemplating the social thresholds and planetary boundaries) wants strengthened. That is why it’s essential to maneuver past assessing actions and outputs and focus on easy methods to disclose outcomes and impacts.

This is essential because it permits companies to handle their efficiency and reveal accountability for his or her impacts.

Making SDG reporting related to stakeholders

There is growing curiosity from a variety of stakeholders in enterprise contribution to the SDGs, together with how corporations are aligning merchandise, providers and enterprise technique with the SDGs.

Policy makers, traders, shoppers, labor organizations and civil society all more and more demand that corporations present transparency by means of offering high quality information and balanced reporting.

However, totally different stakeholders have totally different expectations and information requests. Steps enterprise can take to supply extra strategic and related data embody:

    • Providing aggregated or disaggregated data that enables stakeholders to evaluate their efficiency and contribution to the SDGs
    • Setting long-term SDG-related efficiency targets, and recurrently reporting on progress
    • Clearly demonstrating how the enterprise technique aligns with the SDGs

Proactive communications on the problems that matter most – to each the corporate and stakeholders – is essential. Not solely does it present the mandatory data to evaluate company sustainability efficiency and influence, it additionally permits stakeholders to make selections that contribute to the SDGs.

Driving enterprise motion by means of reporting

Inspired by the progress to this point and the alternatives nonetheless to return, GRI is launching a Business Leadership Forum on company reporting as a driver for attaining the SDGs. This discussion board, to start in March, will supply collaborating corporations with sensible insights on sustainability reporting, focusing on easy methods to elevate the standard and strategic relevance of their reporting.

The discussion board is constructed round a sequence of on-line periods that can convey collectively company reporters and representatives from key stakeholder teams – together with the funding neighborhood, governments, regulators, members of the provision chain, civil society and academia.

The experiences of the previous 4 years have proven that each companies and stakeholders profit from strategic and related SDG-related data. Sustainability reporting is a necessary driver of the transformational change that’s required to realize the SDGs.

As we stay up for the Decade of Action and the pandemic restoration section, the case for significant company reporting on the SDGs is extra compelling than ever earlier than.

*The Global Reporting Initiative is a world impartial requirements group that helps companies, governments and different organizations perceive and talk their impacts on points corresponding to local weather change, human rights and corruption. With greater than 10,000 reporters in over 100 nations, GRI is advancing the apply of sustainability reporting and enabling companies, traders, policymakers, and civil society to make use of this data to interact in dialogue and make selections that assist sustainable growth.

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© Inter Press Service (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal supply: Inter Press Service

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