July 28, 2022
Quality data is crucial to accelerate progress on the SDGs

New resource from GRI and UN Global Compact to spearhead global momentum on SDGs reporting

Greater multi-stakeholder action is essential to achieve the Global Goals as this year marks the midpoint in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A new publication offers the most comprehensive inventory to support companies report on progress, based on international frameworks and standards, for the disclosures that relate to each SDG goal and target.

Now freely available, a fully reworked edition of Business Reporting on the SDGs: An Analysis of the Goals and Targets, from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Global Compact is depicting the way for greater aggregation of pertinent information surrounding companies and sectors. The publication was unveiled at a GRI - UN Global Compact side event, during the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

This new version, (first published in 2017), reflects the most recent GRI Universal, Topic and Sector Standards, and the 2022 questionnaire edition of the UN Global Compact Communication on Progress. Metrics from the CDP, SASB, UN Guiding Principles, World Benchmarking Alliance, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the World Economic Forum disclosure sources have also been included. 

Released this month by UN Statistics, the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022 presages that the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war, is rolling back progress on SDGs. With significant data gaps highlighted for eight out of 17 of the Global Goals, explaining why countries and companies need to step up their efforts to ensure internationally comparable reporting.

It is only by accelerated action, with greater accountability from all actors, that the global community will be able to increase the pace of progress and get the SDGs back on track. Accurate and robust reporting from the private sector offers businesses, policymakers and other stakeholders highly valuable data to inform how this can be achieved. Five years ago, GRI and UN Global Compact launched our original guidance on SDG reporting. Breaking down the collective challenges into measurable disclosures, based on globally recognized frameworks, this updated resource will help more companies to commit to consistent and comparable reporting on their impacts. Furthermore, this resource will help companies identify new business opportunities while contributing to a better world.”

Peter Paul van de Wijs, GRI Chief External Affairs Officer

”Transparency and accountability is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Measuring and reporting on their contributions and impacts on the SDGs can help businesses drive sustainability action. In the context of the social and environmental crises that our societies face, increased ambition by businesses is more needed than ever to achieve the SDGs.”

Bernhard Frey, SDG Impact and Reporting Officer, UN Global Compact

GRI and the UN Global Compact thanks the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for providing support for the new edition of an Analysis of the Goals and Targets.

Led by GRI and the UNGC - the Action Platform for Reporting on the SDGs (2017-2020) gave rise to the development of guidance for companies to integrate SDGs into their reporting processes. The following series of resources were produced, including the 2017 edition of An Analysis of the Goals and Targets, and:

Integrating the SDGs into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide (2018)

In-Focus: Addressing Investor Needs in Business Reporting on the SDGs (2018)

Reporting Examples: How Companies are Reporting on the SDGs (2020)

The GRI Business Leadership Forum on SDGs is assisting in collaborating with 16 participating companies. GRI frequently produces a range of SDGs reporting tools and guidance, an SDGs podcast series, and undertaking SDGs initiatives with governments and business partners.

The United Nations Global Compact is urging companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, launched by the UN Secretary-General as an initiative. The main aim is to fast-track and scale the global collective impact of business by sustaining the Principles and delivering SDGs. The world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with more than 15,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world.

Source: GRI