Trust and Transparency: Building Better Business and Policy Worldwide
“This is such an exciting time for sustainable business. The SDGs offer huge potential for driving sustainability reporting and trust in business. The SDG framework is the lighthouse guiding us towards a better future. We all know that business has a crucial role to play in this transformation towards a more sustainable future, and the SDGs open up enormous opportunities for business to be a force for good, creating the future that we all want.”
The UNGC is starting to see business leaders tune in to the SDGs, with many companies already reporting on them, but there’s still a long way to go, according to Lise Kingo: “Reporting is at an all-time high, but systems are still corrupt, human rights infringements are still taking place, and environmental assaults are all too frequent, even by companies viewed as ‘role models’ by consumers and investors.”
“Trust can only be built when companies commit to doing business right,” advised Lise Kingo. “To build trust, companies need to look beyond the bottom line. They must first do business responsibly, and then find ways to innovate around sustainability and the SDGs. Transparency must play an essential role in this, and the GRI Global Conference has shown us excellent examples of how reporting and measurement builds transparency and trust.”
There is greater transparency of information than ever before, yet recent scandals demonstrate that more needs to be done to prevent the misuse of this information. What changes are needed to bridge this gap and enable better decision making by business leaders?
Building trust with stakeholders can be perceived as intangible and immeasurable, and during the debate, panelists took end-of-the-spectrum viewpoints. Magdalena Gerger, President and CEO of Systembolaget AB emphatically believes you can, and must, measure trust: “Businesses cannot achieve anything without a good degree of trust, which can only be built over time and by informing and including all stakeholders. Organizations first need to set goals for measuring trust, then they can build it. Trust is very much a component of achieving the SDGs, and it has to be measured.”
GRI™ is an international independent organization that has pioneered corporate sustainability reporting since 1997. GRI helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, corruption and many others. With thousands of reporters in over 90 countries, GRI provides the world’s most trusted and widely used standards on sustainability reporting, enabling organizations and their stakeholders to make better decisions based on information that matters. Currently, 38 countries and regions reference GRI in their policies. GRI is built upon a unique multi-stakeholder principle, which ensures the participation and expertise of diverse stakeholders in the development of its standards. GRI’s mission is to empower decision-makers everywhere, through its standards and multi-stakeholder network, to take action towards a more sustainable economy and world.