Sustainable Development Goals

The CDSB Framework supports companies in reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals by helping them integrate sustainability information into their annual mainstream reporting cycle.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal set of goals, targets and indicators set by the United Nations. The 17 SDGs expand on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), providing a focal point and framework for policy development and accountability. Companies, alongside governments and civil society will all be expected to work together to reach these goals. The SDGs provide a historic opportunity for companies to harness their capital and creativity to help solve global challenges.

CDSB’s work helps to address a number of goals including, SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land and SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals. In particular CDSB’s work supports SDG 12:

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle. 

The CDSB Framework for reporting environmental information & natural capital helps companies to communicate clear, concise and consistent information in their annual reports, connecting an organisation's environmental performance to its overall strategy, performance and prospects. The CDSB Framework can therefore help companies meet Target 12.6.

The CDSB Framework is recognised as an effective guide for reporting and communication in the SDG Compass, a guide by the UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development designed to help companies align their strategies with, as well as measure and manage their contribution to the SDGs.

Challenges

The agreement of the SDGs is a landmark step framing the global development agenda and business has a crucial role to play. There are however a number of challenging questions that the international community should consider related to the contributions of business and associated reporting, such as:

  • How should different businesses contribute to the SDGs?
  • How could a ‘business-determined contribution’ be measured?
  • How can we assess and compare the different contributions of business to the SDGs?
  • How can business provide clear, concise and balanced disclosures related to contributions towards the SDGs?
  • How can business support national governments and statistical agencies tracking progress towards the SDGs?

As these questions are considered, it is important to consider whether practices, such as internal company reporting and external investor focussed reporting, are fit for the purpose of understanding business contributions to the SDGs. It maybe that supporting infrastructure needs to be developed to complement the adoption of the goals. This may include new or revised reporting and measurement standards. Supra-national bodies such as the OECD, UN agencies, IOSCO and others might be the right organisations to develop such content.

Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. We acknowledge the diversity of the private sector, ranging from micro enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals. We call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges.

- Article 67, Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development