Leading companies around the world have taken steps to prioritise the SDGs and incorporate them into their core businesses. The PWC SDGs Challenge 2019 shows that 77% of responding South African companies mention the SDGs in their reporting in one form or another. The challenge is that while there are guidelines on how companies should report on the SDGs, each company tends to develop their own approach based on the data they have available.
South Africa, along with other UN member states, is encouraged to regularly submit their Voluntary National Review on the country’s progress and contribution towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Unfortunately, the lack of SDG reporting standardisation in the private sector poses a significant challenge to any organisation’s attempts at compiling and disclosing company data to report in a consistent and comparable manner – until now.
To address this challenge, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has developed SDG indicators that were identified based on key reporting principles, selection criteria, main reporting frameworks and company reporting practices around the world. These core indicators are intended as a common benchmark for sustainability and SDG reporting by enterprises, and therefore, represent the minimum disclosures that companies could do to be able to provide comparable baseline data on their contribution to the implementation of the SDGs.
The objective of this guidance is to provide practical information on how these indicators could be measured in a consistent manner and in alignment with countries’ needs on monitoring the attainment of the SDG agenda.
It is intended to serve as a tool to assist governments to assess private sector contribution to SDG implementation and to assist entities to provide baseline data on sustainability issues.
You are most welcome to join the NBI and the UNCTAD webinar if you are interested to learn more about the core indicators proposed by this guidance document and discover insights into how they align with what South African companies already report on. In addition, we will cover how standardised data from the private sector can benefit national level reporting of the private sector contribution towards the implementation of the SDGs.