SDGs and the future of corporate reporting

Major international corporate reporting standard setters and framework providers have released a position paper supporting the development of better reporting guidelines for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Participants of the ‘Corporate Reporting Dialogue’ – an initiative convened by the International Integrated Reporting Council bringing together the major standard setters and framework providers internationally – advocate working together to provide guidance and structure for businesses to be transparent and accountable, and to ensure better decision-making that promote financial stability and sustainable development.

In the paper, entitled “SDGs and the future of corporate reporting” [which can be downloaded here], CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council, the International Organization for Standardization and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board identify how corporate reporting can illustrate which SDGs are relevant to a company’s business model, enabling both companies and investors to focus on those SDGs most likely to impact financial performance.

The paper also articulates the importance of driving integration of financial and non-financial information to demonstrate how companies create value for stakeholders over the short and long-term.

A product of ongoing discussions within the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, the co-authored paper also outlines the work that they, as framework providers and standard setters, must undertake to ensure there is guidance for business at the level of the underlying 169 SDG targets and to ensure that businesses are producing meaningful information and indicators.

The paper states, “We will strive with our further co-operation to enable effective and efficient capital allocation for the benefit of companies, investors, and society.  This includes providing frameworks that measure progress toward achieving the SDGs, and providing frameworks that enable a better understanding of the link between the SDGs and company financial performance and risk.”