Roundtable discussion on measuring the private sector’s contribution to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals

23 April 2018
United Nations HQ, New York, NY

Summary Report and presentations

 

Background

The thematic focus of the event will be on how enterprise reporting could be further enhanced to provide the monitoring mechanism of the Sustainable Development Goals with the means to assess the private sector contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In particular, it will debate the approaches towards attainment of Goal 12 on Sustainable consumption and production, focusing on Target 12.6. on the integration of sustainability information into companies’ reporting cycle, and on indicator 12.6.1, aimed to measure the number of companies publishing sustainability reports. The session will discuss ways and approaches to improve usefulness and comparability of sustainability information, its consistency with the existing financial reporting frameworks, and reliability for decision-making on sustainable investment. The meeting will also address issues of how data published by companies could be collected and used by member States and other stakeholders for SDG monitoring purposes. Good practices will be shared, as well as lessons learned and the way forward based on collaborative efforts of main players and major initiatives in this area, including recent ones such as the G20 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the European Commission Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth.

In this regard, UNCTAD will also share its progress on selecting a limited number of core indicators with a view to providing a baseline for enterprise reporting on the attainment of the SDGs. This work builds on UNCTAD’s long-standing role in servicing the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR), encompassing the area of financial, environmental and social responsibility reporting, as well as corporate governance disclosures. These core indicators will be aligned with SDG statistical indicators that are also relevant for enterprise performance, including on issues such as climate change and environment protection, rational use of natural resources, gender balance and good governance, among others.

The event will be structured as an interactive debate and will bring together United Nations permanent representatives, representatives from capitals, United Nations agencies and other international agencies, prominent leaders from the private sector and civil society, and other stakeholders.

Objective and outcome

The event will raise awareness of good practices, important initiatives and challenges on company reporting on SDG related issues. It will contribute to facilitate stakeholder dialogue on this issue by bringing a variety of perspectives from the public and private sectors, with a view to building consensus.

It is expected that parties will agree on the important role of enterprise reporting in the attainment of the SDGs, to be accomplished inter alia by promoting the integration of sustainability information into companies’ reporting cycle, as well as good practices on measuring the private sector contribution to SDG implementation in a consistent and comparable manner.

Organizing partners:

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)
World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The Royal Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA)