The UN Sustainable Development Goals – “What Matters” for 40 Sectors? G&A Institute's Research Project Yields Key Data

G&A's Sustainability Highlights (12.13.2018)
Dec 17, 2018 10:45 AM ET
Newsletter

Nearing the end of the 20th Century, the United Nations assembled experts to develop the eight Millennium Goals (MDGs), to serve as blueprints and guides for public, private and social sector actions during the period 2000-2015 (the “new millennium”).

For “post-2015”, the more ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched with 17 goals and 169 targets – these are calls to action for rich and poor and middle-income nations out to the year 2030.  These ambitious efforts are focused on such societal issues as improving education, health, social protection, providing job opportunities, and encouraging greater environmental protection (global climate change clearly in focus!).

The 17 SDGs are numbered for themes – “No Poverty” is Goal #1; “Clean Water and Sanitation” is Goal #6; Gender Equality is Goal #5.  As the goals were announced after an exhaustive development process (in 2015), sovereign nations, regions, communities, corporations, academic institutions, and other societal stakeholders began “adopting” and embracing the goals. 

SDG strategies were quickly amended to align the goals with critical corporate strategies; actions and programs were formulated; partnerships were sought (corporate with government and/or social sector partners and so on).  And the disclosures about all of this began to appear in corporate and institutional GRI sustainability reports.

In the year following official launch, a wave of corporations began public discussion of the SDGs and their adoption of specific goals – those that were material in some way to the company’s strategies, operations, culture, stakeholders, geography…and other factors and characteristics.  

As the SDGs were “adopted” and embraced, companies began quickly to examine the materiality of the SDGs relative to their businesses and the first disclosures were appearing in corporate sustainability reports. 

This is just the introduction of G&A's Sustainability Highlights newsletter this week. Click here to view full issue.