SDG Group

The <IR> Business Network and the SASB Alliance are merging to into a more expansive membership program. More information will be announced in mid-July

<IR> Business Network Group on the Sustainable Development Goals

Purpose: To support organizations seeking to integrate sustainable development issues into their strategy and communicate their contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their integrated report, as well as to inform decisions, policies and tools of supranationals and others.

Who should attend: Participants should be leading the non-financial or integrated reporting efforts and/or SDG strategy in organizations that:

  • Have started incorporating the SDGs into their strategy, KPIs and reporting, and
  • Have commenced their integrated reporting journey.

Chair: The <IR> Business Network Group on the SDGs will be Chaired by a business – ideally also a member of the UNGC CFO Taskforce. The Co-chair will be the UNEP-FI.

Participants: A minimum of 10 <IR> Business Network participants, especially those who are also active contributors to other related initiatives (such as the UNGC CFO Taskforce and UNEP-FI members).

Secretariat: Liz Prescott (Technical Director and SDGs Group Lead), Dr Jeremy Osborn (Director of Business Relationships & Networks) and Milana Fomina (<IR> Business Network Manager), Value Reporting Foundation, will convene the Group.

Format: Bi-monthly meetings, with guided work by participants within their own organizations between meetings. Meetings will be approximately 1-2 hours in duration and be semi-structured i.e., with set discussion points / agendas plus an opportunity to discuss participant implementation considerations.

Content: Meetings will discuss issues in incorporating the SDGs into integrated thinking and reporting and different approaches to implementation. They will consider the challenges and opportunities brought about by reporting according to UN recommendations and other matters relevant to participants. Participants will be encouraged to adopt the UNEP-FI’s Corporate Impact Analysis Tool and apply this in their identification of their material contributions to the SDGs. We will coordinate induction workshops on implementing this tool with UNEP-FI.

Output: A practical guide to implementing the SDGs within integrated thinking (i.e., “the active consideration by an organization of the relationships between its various operating and functional units and the capitals that the organization uses or affects”) and integrated reporting, published in 2022 as a practical, business-led resource
featuring case studies, examples and insights from preparers. Development of the guide will also inform the selection of best practice examples of SDG reporting for the <IR> Examples database in 2022.

Constructive feedback to UNEP-FI on the the benefits and challenges from adopting UNEP-FI’s Holistic Impact Methodology, feeding into a new and improved iteration of the Corporate Impact Analysis Tool in 2022.

Opportunity to inform (or indirectly support) the tools and initiatives of respected supranationals and international bodies, such as UNDP’s SDG Impact Standards and Practice Indicators or UNCTAD’s core indicators for contribution
towards implementation of the SDGs.

The guide will assist organizations in implementing and disclosing the SDGs by discussing implementation experiences, good practice, challenges etc. on an anonymized basis, except in some quotes or case studies where specifically agreed (to be discussed / agreed with participants).

Key outcomes for members of the SDGs Group:

  • Advancement in the maturity of participants’ organizations’ SDG thinking
  • Practical experience of applying the Corporate Impact Analysis Tool and co-development of a new iteration of the tool
  • Enhanced reporting against the SDGs
  • Opportunity to develop the practical SDG implementation guide.

The role of the members of the SDGs Group:

  • Attend scheduled meetings, and openly contribute and share ideas, as well as experiences of the application and use of a range of relevant resources for identifying and measuring an organisation’s impacts on the SDGs.
  • Exploring the benefits and challenges from adopting UNEP-FI’s Holistic Impact Methodology and how UNEP-FI’s Corporate Impact Analysis Tool might be helpfully evolved.
  • Review publication outlines / plans and drafts, and be named in publications, subject to agreement.

Project timeline

  • July 2021 – Discussion with UNEP-FI on Co-chairing the Group.
  • October 2021 – Recruitment of SDGs Group participants from amongst <IR> Business Network.
  • November to December 2021 – High-level review of up to 12 Group participants’ most recent SDGs disclosures (against <IR> Framework) to ensure the SDG disclosures are: (1) connected, concise and informed by other Guiding Principles and (2) linked to business model, strategy and resource allocation and other Content Elements – carried out by Liz Prescott, Technical Director.
  • November 2021 to November 2022 – Bi-monthly SDG Group online meetings.
  • September to November 2022 – Develop and publish SDGs integrated thinking and reporting implementation guide, in collaboration with Liz Prescott and UNEP-FI, focusing on practical implementation of the SDGs via business strategy, KPIs and reporting.
  • December 2022 – Launch SDGs integrated thinking and reporting implementation guide at Value Reporting Foundation’s Annual Symposium.

Key resources

The Sustainable Development Goals, integrated thinking and the integrated report (Carol Adams, IIRC, ICAS, 2017)

The Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations (Adams, C A, with Druckman, P B, Picot, R C, (2020), published by ACCA, Chartered Accountants ANZ, ICAS, IFAC, IIRC and WBA) & Feedback on the Consultation Responses (2020, Carol Adams, published by ACCA, IIRC, WBA)

UNCTAD Core SDG indicators for entity reporting (2020)

UNDP SDG Impact Standards for Private Equity Funds, Bonds and Enterprises (2020/21)

UNEP FI Impact Analysis Tools

UNGC SDG Ambition reports (2020) – SDG Ambition – Scaling Business Impact for the Decade of Action, Ambition Guide: Setting Goals for the Decade of Action, Integration Guide: Designing Business Systems for the SDGs

UNGC CFO Taskforce for the SDGs (2020-22)