Global standard-setters to develop new SDG reporting guidelines

A group of international standard-setters has announced plans to develop improved reporting guidelines for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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In a paper published last week, participants of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue said they would strive to help businesses better understand the link between the SDGs and financial performance.

By identifying which goals are most relevant to a company’s business model, the group hopes to ensure decision-making that promotes financial stability and sustainable development.

The paper sets out how members of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue will work together to provide frameworks and guidance that cover each of the 169 SDG targets.

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council, the International Organization for Standardization, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and CDP are all signed up.

“We will strive with our further co-operation to enable effective and efficient capital allocation for the benefit of companies, investors, and society,” the paper states.

“This includes providing frameworks that measure progress toward achieving the SDGs, and providing frameworks that enable a better understanding of the link between the SDGs and company financial performance and risk.” 

The paper also articulates the importance of driving integration of financial and non-financial information to demonstrate how companies create value for stakeholders over the short and long-term.

This comes after the Corporate Reporting Dialogue last November announced a two-year project to better align corporate reporting and improve sustainable business practices.

Members will map their sustainability standards and frameworks to identify commonalities and differences, and jointly refine and improve them while taking into account different focuses, audiences and governance procedures.

Ian Mackintosh, chair of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, said that the current system is not working as harmoniously as possible, resulting in “disjointed definitions with unclear aims”.

“There is a renewed urgency to drive better alignment that can combat reporting fatigue, reduce burden and enable more effective corporate reporting,” he added. 

 

Image credit | iStock 
Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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