Leading sustainability practitioners say they are using the global goals to galvanise progress in their companies
Ten months into the UN sustainable development goals project, it’s timely to reflect on what the 17 goals and 169 targets mean for business. Are the SDGs turning the tide on corporate responsibility, or are businesses simply lost at sea?
While this article doesn’t claim to answer that question, it does aim to add insight from within business. It builds on Ethical Corporation’s State of Responsible Business report by providing a qualitative insight from a small sample of corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability leaders. It offers a montage of perceptions and experiences around application of the goals in strategy and reporting, and the lessons already emerging.
As KPMG points out, while 90% of the world’s largest companies report on their sustainable development performance, there remains no common reference point for meaningful comparison. The SDGs offer a refreshed universal agenda designed to be relevant to all seven billion of the world’s inhabitants. Being far broader and more ambitious than the millennium development goals (MDGs), which expired in 2015, they are arguably better geared up to enable private sector contribution.
However, their scope may be a double-edged...