BCtA and GRI release findings on Measuring Business Impact on the SDGs

Source: GRI, 22 September 2016

Today, Business Call to Action (BCtA) and GRI are launching a report that finds that governments are increasingly interested in accounting for private sector contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a trend that has evolved from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The report, Measuring Impact: How Business Accelerates the Sustainable Development Goals, provides a first look at how governments are engaging with the private sector, and how business tools, impact measurement and sustainability reporting can be leveraged to measure, monitor and accelerate business contributions to the Global Goals. The report is a response to two complementary trends: increased efforts by businesses to capture their sustainability impacts; and rising interest from the public sector in capturing business contributions to the SDGs.

Measuring Impact identifies early lessons, from the field of impact measurement and sustainability reporting, that can be harnessed by governments and businesses that want to understand how the private sector can best contribute to a more sustainable economy and world. The report also maps current challenges facing many governments as they seek to account for the contributions of businesses to the SDGs. This includes the need for consistency and comparability of business information, and the importance of communication between constituencies, often in the context of a trust gap between government and business.

“In this first year of reviewing the SDGs, Measuring Impact serves as a signpost of what works, and what needs to be done to further integrate private sector information into the SDG follow-up and review process,” said Teresa Fogelberg, GRI’s Deputy Chief Executive. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Business Call to Action to raise awareness of these critical issues.”

“What the report shows us is that many businesses are already capturing their efforts and progress on the social and environmental performance. Here, great potential exists for both the private and public sectors to support the world’s sustainable development agenda by, measuring business contributions to the SDGs” says Paula Pelaez, Head of Business Call to Action.  “BCtA and GRI will continue to take this message forward as we move into SDG implementation.”

Measuring Impact calls on governments to deepen their engagement with the private sector on policy-relevant SDG areas, and to account for business contributions to the Global Goals.  Businesses, meanwhile, can play a critical role by engaging with governments and beginning the process of aligning their impact measurement and sustainability reporting endeavors with the SDGs.

Measuring Impact: How Business Accelerates the Sustainable Development Goals is being launched today at BCtA’s 2016 Annual Forum in New York. Join our discussion on social media using #Measure4SDGs.