The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all. To achieve these 17 ambitious goals, it’s essential to track progress and identify areas for improvement. This is where SDG reporting comes in.
SDG reporting is collecting and analyzing data to measure progress towards the SDGs. It helps businesses, governments, and organizations understand the impact of their actions on people and the planet. By regularly tracking their progress, they can make informed decisions and take necessary steps to achieve the SDGs.
SDG reporting is not just about data collection. It also involves reporting on the data and taking action to address the challenges identified. This can include developing new products, changing business practices, or collaborating with others to create positive change.
The benefits of SDG reporting are numerous. For organizations, it can help improve their reputation and brand image by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. It can also help drive innovation and increase competitiveness. For governments, SDG reporting provides a way to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement in their sustainability policies.
To get started with SDG reporting, organizations need to identify their most relevant SDGs and collect data on their impact. This data can be analyzed to identify areas for improvement and prioritize actions. Organizations can then develop a reporting plan and set goals for progress.
In conclusion, SDG reporting is crucial in developing a sustainable future. Organizations and governments can make meaningful contributions to achieving the SDGs by tracking progress and taking action. Whether you are a business, a government, or an individual, there is no better time to start your SDG reporting journey.
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
SDG Reporting Training
The theory of change is the foundation for understanding the social impact of programs, products, or services.
- How to avoid SDG Washing? [7 min]
- Aligning with SDG Goals and Targets [7 min]
Sustainable Development Report
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 building 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.
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 the SDGs framework and many 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 intelligently combining other standard metrics (and/or custom metrics).
- It makes SDG reporting simple, whatever the size of the organization.
- What is Sustainable Development Goals SDG or Global Goals?
- Why is it essential to avoid SDG washing?
SDG Reporting Metrics
Measuring progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is crucial for ensuring the world is on track to a more sustainable future. This is where SDG reporting metrics come in. They provide a way to collect, analyze and report on data to understand the impact of actions on people and the planet.
SDG reporting metrics are specific measurements used to track progress toward the SDGs. There are various metrics that organizations, governments, and businesses can use, depending on their sector and the SDGs they are targeting. Some standard metrics include greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy use, water conservation, and waste reduction.
One crucial aspect of SDG reporting metrics is that they should be measurable, relevant, and aligned with the SDGs. The metrics should also be comprehensive, covering all aspects of sustainability, from environmental to social and economic. The metrics should also be consistent, allowing for a comparison of progress over time.
To develop effective SDG reporting metrics, involving stakeholders and conducting a thorough analysis of the organization’s impact is essential. This can help identify improvement areas and prioritize actions to achieve the SDGs.
In addition to internal reporting, organizations can also participate in external reporting initiatives such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). These initiatives provide a framework for reporting on sustainability performance and help organizations benchmark their progress against peers.
In conclusion, SDG reporting metrics are vital for tracking progress toward the SDGs. By using relevant and comprehensive metrics, organizations, governments, and businesses can better understand their impact and take action to create a more sustainable future. Whether you are just starting your SDG reporting journey or are an experienced practitioner, using effective metrics is key to success.
SDG Reporting Tools
DG (Sustainable Development Goals) reporting refers to the process of measuring and disclosing the progress and impact of a company or organization toward achieving the 17 United Nations-recognized SDGs. Various sustainability software, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting platforms, and SDG dashboards have been developed to simplify this process. These tools aid organizations in tracking their progress toward the SDGs, preparing reports, and communicating the results to stakeholders.
Here are some of the benefits of using these tools:
- Data Collection & Management: The tools provide a centralized platform for collecting and managing data related to sustainability and SDGs.
- Report Generation: The tools automate the report generation process and help organizations prepare comprehensive reports in a timely and efficient manner.
- Metric Tracking: The tools enable organizations to track their progress toward the SDGs by monitoring key metrics and KPIs.
- Stakeholder Engagement: The tools help organizations engage with their stakeholders and communicate their sustainability efforts and progress towards the SDGs.
- Compliance: The tools ensure that the organization complies with the relevant regulations and reporting standards.
Start your SDG Reporting with Sopact
Sopact Impact Cloud is an all-in-one solution for modern enterprises to design, align, and track their impact strategy. It includes three main components: Sopact Strategy, Sopact Survey, and Advance Analytics.
Sopact Strategy is a self-driven, collaborative app that helps you design results frameworks on Excel and PPT, align departments, and track TOC/Logic models, indicators, data strategy, survey strategy, and dashboard strategy. The app saves hundreds of hours with better collaboration and improved data design.
Sopact Survey is a sophisticated survey tool that integrates data collection with real-time business intelligence analytics and dashboards. It is accessible via multiple form factors and includes offline data collection capabilities. It also has features such as web-based form designer, mobile-compatible surveys, and scheduling.
Advance Analytics is built on a modern impact data pipeline, allowing you to collect data from multiple sources and provides 100+ advanced data visualizations. It offers aggregation and flexibility to meet various data warehousing needs and includes dashboards for key stakeholders to view progress and compare performance.
The app is for unlimited users and strategies, with five users for the survey and analytics. It has a dedicated URL and database for secure data storage
SDG Reporting Standards
A Guide to Aligning with Industry Best Practices. Stay up-to-date on the latest SDG Reporting Standards like GRI, UN Global Compact, and SASB. Read this guide to align your reporting with industry best practices.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become critical for business operations worldwide. The UN Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) are some leading reporting standards organizations use to align their operations with the SDGs and communicate their progress to stakeholders.
GRI Standards The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework. It provides guidelines and standards for organizations to report on their economic, environmental and social performance. The GRI Standards are regularly updated to remain relevant and in line with the latest sustainability trends.
UN Global Compact, The UN Global Compact, is a voluntary initiative that aims to align businesses with ten universal principles in human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. Organizations that sign up for the UN Global Compact are expected to communicate their progress on these principles through annual Communication on Progress (COP) reports.
SASB The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) provides sector-specific standards for sustainability reporting. These standards help organizations to report on sustainability issues that are material to their industry and relevant to their stakeholders. SASB standards cover a range of topics, including environmental impacts, social impacts, and governance.
In conclusion, keeping up-to-date with the latest SDG Reporting Standards is essential for organizations that want to align their operations with industry best practices. By using frameworks such as GRI, UN Global Compact, and SASB, organizations can ensure that their sustainability reporting is comprehensive, relevant, and in line with the latest trends. Whether new to sustainability reporting or have been doing it for a while, this guide provides a helpful starting point for aligning your reporting with the latest SDG Reporting Standards.
Aligning SDG Reporting with Impact Data
Actionable approach to creating a robust theory of change in the shortest time.
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.
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals Report from 2017 cites that "the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030," flagging the urgency to accelerate action. While working hard towards achieving global goals, how can we prevent over-claiming?
SDG Key Stakeholders
- Business, Sustainability, and CSR
- Impact Investors
- Grant Makers
- International Development Organization
- Philanthropic Organizations such as Foundations, NGOs
There are many different 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:
Sustainable Developing Report Case Studies
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) aim to create a better and more sustainable future for all. The SDGs provide a framework for companies to measure their impact on the environment, society, and economy. Companies are encouraged to adopt SDG reporting to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and to track their progress in meeting the goals. In this article, we will explore some of the best practices in SDG reporting through case studies of companies leading the way.
- Unilever - Unilever, a leading consumer goods company, was one of the first companies to adopt SDG reporting. The company integrates the SDGs into its business strategy, ensuring that its operations and products align with the goals. Unilever also engages with its stakeholders to understand their concerns and to find ways to address them through its sustainability initiatives. As a result, the company’s SDG report is transparent and comprehensive and showcases its progress toward its goals.
- Nestle - Nestle, a food and beverage company, firmly commits to sustainability and has integrated the SDGs into its business strategy. The company’s SDG report highlights its progress towards the goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable energy use, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Nestle also engages with its stakeholders to understand their sustainability concerns and to find ways to address them through its initiatives.
- IKEA - IKEA, a furniture retailer, is committed to sustainability and has integrated the SDGs into its business strategy. The company’s SDG report highlights its progress towards the goals, including its efforts to reduce waste, promote renewable energy, and support sustainable forestry. IKEA also engages with its stakeholders to understand their sustainability concerns and to find ways to address them through its initiatives.
- Microsoft - Microsoft, a technology company, is committed to sustainability and has integrated the SDGs into its business strategy. The company’s SDG report highlights its progress towards the goals, including its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency, and increase the use of renewable energy. Microsoft also engages with its stakeholders to understand their sustainability concerns and to find ways to address them through its initiatives.
In conclusion, companies committed to sustainability are adopting SDG reporting to track their progress toward their goals. As demonstrated by these case studies, the best practices in SDG reporting include integrating the SDGs into business strategy, transparent and comprehensive reporting, and engaging with stakeholders to understand their concerns. Companies that adopt these best practices are setting a high bar for sustainability and are leading the way in creating a better and more sustainable future for all.
SDG Reporting for SMEs
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs serve as a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all, and SMEs can make a significant impact in helping to achieve these goals through their day-to-day operations.
But what exactly is SDG reporting, and why is it important for SMEs to engage with it?
SDG reporting refers to the process of measuring and communicating a company's progress toward the achievement of the SDGs. This reporting can take many forms, including standalone, integrated, sustainability, and annual reports. It provides companies with a framework to assess their impact on the environment, society, and the economy and identify improvement opportunities.
For SMEs, SDG reporting can have numerous benefits, including:
- Increased credibility and reputation: SDG reporting demonstrates a company's commitment to sustainability and its positive impact on the world. This can increase the credibility and reputation of the company, attracting customers, investors, and employees who share its values.
- Improved decision-making: SDG reporting provides SMEs with a comprehensive view of their sustainability performance, allowing them to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about their operations.
- Access to new opportunities: Companies that engage in SDG reporting may be eligible for new opportunities, such as grants and funding, which can help them to grow and expand.
- Compliance with regulations: SDG reporting may also be required by law in some countries, ensuring that SMEs meet their legal obligations and reduce their risk of fines or other penalties.
So, how can SMEs get started with SDG reporting?
- Identify which SDGs are most relevant to their operations: SMEs should focus on the most relevant SDGs to their business and have the greatest impact on their operations.
- Gather data and measure performance: SMEs should gather data on their operations to measure their performance against the relevant SDGs. This may involve conducting a sustainability assessment or engaging a consultant.
- Communicate progress: SMEs should communicate their progress towards the SDGs through a standalone sustainability report or as part of their annual report. This may involve setting targets, providing data on performance, and outlining improvement plans.
In conclusion, SDG reporting is a crucial tool for SMEs looking to impact the world positively. By reporting on their progress towards the SDGs, SMEs can improve their reputation, make informed decisions, access new opportunities, and comply with regulations. If you're an SME looking to get started with SDG reporting, now is the time to start taking action.
SDG Reporting for Investors
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals set by the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. The SDGs cover a wide range of issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and more. Investors are increasingly looking to align their investments with these goals and understand the impact of their investments on sustainable development. This is where SDG reporting comes in.
SDG reporting is a method of measuring and communicating a company’s progress toward achieving the SDGs. This reporting helps investors assess a company's sustainability and understand their investments' impact on sustainable development. It also helps companies identify improvement areas and prioritize their sustainability efforts.
Why is SDG reporting important for investors?
- Investment alignment: SDG reporting helps investors to align their investments with their values and contribute to a sustainable future.
- Due diligence: SDG reporting provides investors with a comprehensive understanding of a company’s sustainability practices, allowing them to make informed investment decisions.
- Long-term value: Companies prioritizing sustainability are more likely to impact society and the environment positively and are, therefore, more attractive to investors.
- Risk management: Companies with a strong sustainability record are less likely to face reputational or regulatory risks, making them safer investments.
How can investors use SDG reporting?
- Assess the sustainability of potential investments: Investors can use SDG reporting to assess the sustainability of potential investments and understand the impact of their investments on sustainable development.
- Monitor progress: Investors can monitor a company’s progress towards the SDGs and track their sustainability efforts over time.
- Engage with companies: Investors can use SDG reporting to engage with companies and encourage them to prioritize sustainability.
In conclusion, SDG reporting is an important tool for investors to assess companies' sustainability and understand their investments' impact on sustainable development. As investors increasingly look to align their investments with the SDGs, it is important for companies to prioritize sustainability and provide transparent and comprehensive SDG reporting.
SDG Reporting Best Practice
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 global goals set by the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. SDG reporting is a method of measuring and communicating a company’s progress toward achieving the SDGs. To accurately and effectively communicate their sustainability efforts, companies need to adopt best practices in SDG reporting.
- Integrate SDGs into Business Strategy: Companies should integrate them into their business strategy and ensure that their sustainability efforts align with the goals. This helps to ensure that their reporting accurately reflects their impact on sustainable development.
- Use a Consistent Framework: Companies should use a consistent framework for SDG reporting, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). This helps to ensure that their reporting is transparent, comparable, and credible.
- Focus on Material Issues: Companies should focus their reporting on material issues or issues that are most relevant to their business and have the greatest impact on sustainable development. This helps to ensure that their reporting is comprehensive and focused.
- Engage Stakeholders: Companies should engage with their stakeholders, including investors, customers, and employees, to understand their sustainability priorities and ensure that their reporting accurately reflects them.
- Use Data and Metrics: Companies should use data and metrics to measure their progress towards the SDGs and communicate their impact on sustainable development. This helps to ensure that their reporting is accurate and credible.
- Report Progress and Challenges: Companies should report on their progress towards the SDGs and their challenges. This helps to ensure that their reporting is transparent and provides a comprehensive understanding of their sustainability efforts.
- Continuously Improve: Companies should continuously improve their SDG reporting by seeking feedback from stakeholders, updating their reporting frameworks, and incorporating new data and metrics.
In conclusion, SDG reporting is a critical tool for companies to communicate their sustainability efforts and impact sustainable development. By adopting best practices in SDG reporting, companies can ensure that their reporting is transparent, credible, and comprehensive and that they are making a meaningful contribution to a more sustainable future.
SDG Reporting Benefits
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) report measures and communicates progress toward achieving the 17 SDGs set by the United Nations. The benefits of SDG reporting are numerous and include increased transparency, accountability, and stakeholder engagement.
One major benefit of SDG reporting is increased transparency. By measuring and reporting on progress toward achieving the SDGs, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and provide stakeholders with a clear understanding of their impact. This increased transparency can also help organizations identify areas for improvement and make more informed decisions.
Another benefit of SDG reporting is increased accountability. By setting targets and reporting on progress toward achieving the SDGs, organizations are held accountable for their actions and impact. This can help organizations take the necessary steps to address pressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and climate change.
Stakeholder engagement is also a key benefit of SDG reporting. By providing stakeholders with clear, accessible information on progress toward achieving the SDGs, organizations can foster more meaningful engagement and collaboration. This can help build trust and support for sustainable business practices and can also help identify new opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
In addition to these benefits, SDG reporting can also help organizations identify new business opportunities and improve their reputation. By taking a leadership role in addressing global challenges and demonstrating progress toward achieving the SDGs, organizations can position themselves as responsible corporate citizens and attract customers, investors, and partners who share their values.
Overall, SDG reporting is a powerful tool for organizations that want to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and improve their impact. By providing clear, accessible information on progress towards achieving the SDGs, organizations can increase transparency, accountability, and stakeholder engagement and position themselves as leaders in the global effort to achieve a more sustainable future.
SDG Reporting Challenges
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were introduced in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. As a result, governments, businesses, and organizations worldwide are held accountable for their progress toward these goals through regular reporting. However, despite good intentions, several challenges make SDG reporting difficult.
Lack of Consistency: One of the biggest challenges with SDG reporting is the need for more consistency in the way data is collected and reported. With 17 goals and 169 targets, various interpretations of what data should be included make it difficult to compare progress between organizations and countries.
Data Availability: Another challenge is the availability of data. In many countries, especially in the developing world, data collection systems are limited or nonexistent, making it difficult to measure progress toward the SDGs. Additionally, data collection can be expensive, leading to a need for more resources for data collection and analysis.
Data Quality: Even when data is available, there can be questions about its quality. Data manipulation is risky, leading to false or misleading information being reported. This can undermine the credibility of the reporting process and reduce trust in the SDGs.
Cost: The cost of SDG reporting can be substantial, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. The process of collecting, analyzing, and reporting data can require significant investments in time, personnel, and technology.
Lack of Awareness: Many organizations and businesses must know the SDGs and their reporting requirements. As a result, they may need help understanding the importance of reporting or how to go about it.
Despite these challenges, the SDG reporting process is critical for measuring progress and holding organizations accountable for their impact on sustainable development. To overcome these challenges, it is essential to establish clear guidelines for data collection and reporting, increase awareness and education, and support the development of low-cost reporting solutions.
In conclusion, while SDG reporting presents several challenges, it is an essential step toward sustainable development. With concerted effort and collaboration between governments, businesses, and civil society, these challenges can be overcome, and progress toward the SDGs can be accurately measured and reported.
SDG Reporting resources
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. SDG reporting is the process by which countries, businesses, and other organizations report on their progress toward achieving the SDGs.
A good source of SDG reporting information is the United Nations website: https://sdgs.un.org/reporting.
This website provides guidance on reporting on the SDGs and tools and resources to help organizations measure and communicate their progress. It also includes a database of reports submitted by governments and other organizations.
In summary, the United Nations website is a comprehensive resource for information on SDG reporting, offering guidance, tools, resources, and a database of reports submitted by governments and organizations.