How to report on the SDGs

A year and a half after the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), companies are making inroads in how to manage and report on the 2030 Agenda. There’s a wide range of approaches—so what can we learn from early adopters on how to deliver and communicate effectively on the Goals?

We’ve researched dozens of companies for best practice, and our briefing document, available here, identifies nine key approaches to SDG management and reporting. For those just starting out on the SDG journey, our tips will help you connect the dots, make a strong business case and put the right building blocks in place. For organisations already actively engaging with the SDGs, our best practice examples will inspire new ways to craft an effective and compelling SDG leadership story.

A great example, illustrated below, shows where Maersk can deliver positive change at scale, whether impacts are direct or indirect and which negative outcomes it needs to mitigate.

Key takeaways from our briefing include:

Map your contribution
Knowing how you contribute sets a baseline to measure your impact on the Goals. Start with easy wins and established material issues, but think about the big picture context too. Many SDGs require whole sector and system change that goes beyond traditional company boundaries.

Set priorities
Be inclusive—get stakeholders on-board in shaping strategic priorities—and dig right down to targets where you can really move the needle and drive transformational change.

Measure & report on progress
Tell a strategic story: develop a future value creation pipeline aligned with the SDGs. Work out which resources to leverage. Then use the Goals as a high-impact way to measure and communicate your contribution.

We’ll be delving deeper into corporate approaches to the SDGs over the coming months. Please get in touch to be involved!