Companies now have a new tool to help them navigate and contribute to a new set of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations on 25 September.
Launched today at a UN-business event at UN Headquarters in New York, the SDG Compass –developed jointly by GRI, the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – guides companies in taking a strategic approach to the SDGs and enhancing their contribution to sustainable development through core business activities.
The SDGs, which will shape the global development agenda from now until 2030, explicitly call on business to use creativity and innovation to address sustainable development challenges, such as poverty, gender equality, clean water, clean energy and climate change. Many companies, however, are uncertain about what actions they can and should take in order to contribute to the goals. To meet this need, the SDG Compass is a guide that companies can use to align their strategies with the relevant SDGs, and measure and manage their impacts. It is supported by a live and constantly updated inventory of business indicators and tools.
Though all 193 Member States of the United Nations reached agreement on the SDGs, their success relies heavily on action and collaboration by all actors. The SDG Compass acknowledges this and incorporates feedback from companies, government agencies, academic institutions and civil society organizations, from around the world.
“Our partnership with the UN Global Compact and WBCSD is an example of the innovation and collaboration needed in order to tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges,” said GRI’s Chief Executive, Michael Meehan. “SDG target 12.6 explicitly acknowledges the critical role corporate reporting must play in the achievement of the goals. Our ambition is that by using the SDG Compass to measure and manage their contributions, businesses will generate high-quality data to inform better decision making and improve the lives of millions of people across our planet.”
“The adoption of the SDGs is an historic moment for our world, and business is ready to act,” said Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “These global goals represent a growing market for companies that are able to develop and deliver relevant technologies and solutions. The SDG Compass provides critical guidance for companies to understand their responsibilities and opportunities linked to each of the global goals, ultimately to drive growth and innovation for the good of people and our planet.”
“We are proud to be part of the coalition launching the SDG Compass today. For the first time, the business community has actively helped to shape the agenda of the SDGs, and continuing this leadership will also be critical to helping achieve them,” said President of WBCSD, Peter Bakker. “The SDGs provide a new framework for companies to help solve global challenges through sustainable development, and they call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation. The Compass is a unique tool that will help business align their strategy and operations to the SDGs, and measure and manage their contribution.”
The SDG Compass was launched as part of this year’s UN Private Sector Forum, which annually brings together CEOs and heads of state to the United Nations to discuss issues such as climate change, global development, and human rights. Against the backdrop of the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015, this year’s Private Sector Forum focused on the role of the private sector in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information about the SDG Compass, please visit www.sdgcompass.org.