Business and policy representatives from around the world have shared their views on the changes needed to ensure companies can actively contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and how reporting and partnerships supports this process. A second online forum by GRI and Enel took place in November, to gather ideas and scope the vision for change, when 389 individuals from 59 countries taking part. This built on the first session in October, where current practice for SDGs corporate reporting was explored.
Key highlights and ideas put forward from the discussions in this second session are summarized below.
How to strengthen links between business reporting and SDG contributions
- Regularly monitoring progress and reporting on SDG impact
- Linking SDG-related goals to business KPIs (key performance indicators)
- Take account of SDG-related priorities within materiality assessments
Partnerships: business and government
- Develop a common understanding on which SDGs are the priority at national or regional level
- Ensure clear and robust impact measurement
- Consider use of tax or other financial incentives
Partnerships: business to business
- Implement new systems that provide easier ways to identify SDG partners
- Establish shared goals, with a strong business case on both sides
- Share training and education programmes
What’s needed for effective leadership
- The ability to articulate a clear purpose supported by long-term goals
- A commitment to integrating the SDGs into corporate strategy
- Taking an adaptable approach to deliver on sustainability priorities
Sustainable business models that support SDGs impact
- A shift to a longer-term focus, within companies and in the wider corporate landscape
- Embracing new finance models – such as green bonds or social impact bonds
- Alignment of new business models with a company’s core competencies
The findings from both forums will be used by GRI and Enel to inform next steps, which will include regional events later this year.