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Business Reporting on the SDGs: An Analysis of the Goals and Targets

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Monday, October 2, 2017 11:00AM / PwC 

It’s becoming widely accepted that business has a critical role to play in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, there is increasing pressure on business leaders to provide information on a much broader basis to multiple stakeholders - such as investors, employees, customers and suppliers. Changing dynamics in these stakeholder relationships and a need to build and maintain trust, has put increased transparency high on the priority list for business leaders. Demonstrating the wider impact of a business’ operations is no longer optional for leading businesses. 

The Global Goals give us a globally agreed set of targets to address the world's most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges and can be used to provide the perfect framework for business to report on their impact and contribution to society. But there’s a need for a consistent approach in how business is reporting this contribution. This will allow companies to be transparent about their operations, enable investors to make informed decisions and give governments an understanding of how business is contributing to the goals in their country.

That’s why we’re supporting the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and GRI, the world’s leading organisation for sustainability reporting, to create a mechanism to help businesses prioritise and report on the SDGs. 

Supporting GRI and the UN Global Compact

We’re making it easier for business to understand, assess and report on its contribution to the SDGs. This multi-stakeholder movement will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of corporate reporting on the SDGs. 

PwC provided strategic support and expertise to create two vital outputs:

  • The Analysis of Goals and Targets contains a list of disclosures and suggested actions for business to take. It also explores the potential gaps. 
  • The Practical Guide for Defining Priorities and Reporting should be used in conjunction with the analysis and provides information on how to prioritise and report on each of the goals. This will be available in January 2018.

It's a first step towards helping business to report on the SDGs in a comparable and effective way.  

Embedding into strategy 

For a company to report on its progress, it will need to be making progress. It's expected that an adjustment in reporting will have a flow-on effect on how the SDGs are measured and ultimately, embedded into strategy. If what gets measured, gets managed, then it follows that business will need to dig deeper than the top level goals and set smart targets that will align with how progress will eventually be reported. In this way, we're helping business to take action and make a significant contribution to the SDGs. 

Kindly click to download the full report 

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