SDG Reporting: What good looks like and why it matters

This study is intended to help companies that are unsure about how to report on the Sustainable Development Goals, where to start and what good SDG reporting looks like.

It proposes quality criteria for SDG reporting which readers can use as a guide for their own organisation's reporting. It also analyses how reporting from the world's 250 largest companies measures up against these criteria to help readers benchmark their own reporting against this global leadership group.



Key findings from the study

  • Within 2 years of the SDGs being launched in 2015, four in ten (40 percent) top companies acknowledged the global goals in their corporate reporting. Of these, 84 percent identified the SDGs they consider most relevant to their business.
  • Less than one in ten has reported a business case for action on the SDGs (8 percent) or has set specific and measurable (SMART) business performance targets related to the global goals (only 10 percent).
  • The SDGs most commonly prioritised by leading companies are Climate Action (SDG13), Decent Work & Economic Growth (SDG8) and Good Health & Wellbeing (SDG3).
  • The SDGs least commonly prioritised are Life on Land (SDG15), Zero Hunger (SDG2) and Life Below Water (SDG14).
  • Three quarters (75 percent) of companies that report on the SDGs discuss the impact their business has on the goals, but reporting is largely unbalanced with most companies discussing their positive impacts but not the negative.
  • Four in ten (39 percent) companies that report on the SDGs include the global goals in their CEO and or Chair's message.
  • Only one in five reporting companies reports on any of the 169 individual SDG targets set by the UN.


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