The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals are the roadmap for how to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we all face, including those related to poverty, hunger, inequality, climate change, decent employment, and peace and justice.
Did you know, more and more companies see strategic value in standards like the Sustainable Development Goals? According to PWC report SDG Reporting Challenge 2017:
- 62% of companies mentioned the UN SDGs in their reporting
- 37% of companies selected priority from SDGs
- 79% of companies that prioritized the SDGs chose SDG 13 Climate Action
- 28% of companies set quantitative targets and linked these to societal impact
Why Align your Social Impact to the Sustainable Development Goals?
There are important reasons why companies align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in their impact reporting.
1) Communicate local impact in a global language. While there are multiple impact frameworks, standards, and tools, most organizations still struggle to measure, manage, and communicate the impact. The SDGs offer a shared impact framework and language which makes it more accessible worldwide, and easier to compare results across the globe.
2) Millennials seek transparency when accepting jobs, buying products, and making investments. Corporate impact is much more important to this generation than previous generations. They are asking hard questions beyond surface-level statistics and reporting. How are you creating an impact? What are the externalities? Who are stakeholders and beneficiaries? Aligning with the SDGs in an authentic way shows that a company understands the context of its desired impact and its role in the larger global effort for its specific impact area.
3) Social impact has become a centerpiece in business strategy. Business needs permission (positive engagement) from people to do well. One of the biggest challenges facing private equity, corporate, impact investors, and other asset owners is how to build a portfolio that defines and generates true impact. This challenge is addressed by the efforts of groups such as the Impact Management Project (IMP), TONIIC T-100, and OCED.