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Step By Step Guide to

SDG Reporting

Best Practices in SDG Tracking and SDG Reporting

What is SDG Reporting?

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.


Learn more about how to align your impact with the SDGs!

Align with SDG Targets & SDG Indicators

The UN SDGs consist of 17 goals and 169 targets with 230 agreed upon indicators. Aligning to the SDGs requires planning and understanding not only the SDGs framework, but also many different other standards from your industry.  SoPact's Impact Cloud can help create and align an organization's theory of change with SDG indicators, while also combining other standard metrics (and/or custom metrics) in a smart way. It makes SDG reporting simple, whatever the size of the organization.


SDG Impact Metrics


Already gathering impact data?

If you are a corporate entity,  an impact investor, an international development agency, or a philanthropic organization and you need to align your metrics to SDG goals and targets you need metrics mapping. A SaaS Platform like the one SoPact has built has 2,500+ metrics which help make this process seamless and cost-effective.

For example,  a business would likely use SDGCompass-based mapping with 10+ standards such as GRI, CDP and others. Impact investors might use TONIIC T-100 mapping between SDG and IRIS. The Sopact platform includes all these frameworks. In addition, users can cross-link various other standards such as GRI (which tends to use more qualitative metrics) with IRIS (which tends to have quantitative metrics). By linking them together different users can create a rich reporting end result. 

If you are just starting the impact measurement process, the first step is to define the goals and targets as per a Theory of Change. Then you'll align to other standards as described above and select appropriate metrics. 




SDG Key Stakeholders

  1. Business, Sustainability, and CSR
  2. Impact Investors
  3. Grant Makers
  4. International Development Organization
  5. Philanthropic Organizations such as Foundations, NGOs

There are many different types of impact measurement tools to help the organizations mentioned above better align to SDG indicators and cross align with their industry standards. 


Some interesting reads on Sustainable Development Goals and Reporting:

1. Ensuring quality measurement for all 17 SDGS

2. Why SDG 17 - Partnership of Goals is the most important among all of them?

3. SDG Impact Data Pipeline from Enterprise to Asset owners - Expectation vs Reality

Example SDG Reporting

Communicate Your Local Impact with Global Goals

ICA Impact Report - SDG Reporting MechanismICA Impact Report - Sustainable Development Goals Meaning and Reporting methodologyICA Impact Report -Sustainable Development Goals Reporting methodology and health data

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