Sustainability reporting and SDGs

Responding to its mandate stated in the Nairobi Maafikiano to advance work in the area of sustainability reporting, UNCTAD through its ISAR group is working on the enhancement of the role of enterprise reporting on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this context UNCTAD implements the Development Account project 1819H Enabling policy frameworks for enterprise sustainability and SDG reporting in Africa and Latin America that intends to strengthen the capacities of Governments of the beneficiary countries to measure and monitor the private sector contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development based on data provided by companies as part of their reporting cycle. This work builds on the ADT and its section on the ESG reporting; as well as on ISAR deliberations since 2015 towards harmonization of sustainability reporting as a means to facilitate its comparability, usefulness and alignment with the monitoring framework of the Goals. With this objective, ISAR proposed a list of a limited number of core SDG indicators for companies reporting to enable availability of comparable indicators at a company level on the rational use of resources such as water, energy, land; on emissions and waste reduction; good governance, human resource development and gender equality. UNCTAD developed Guidance on these Core Indicators as a tool to assist companies in collecting the underlying accounting data for the indicators, in a manner consistent with financial reporting requirements and in alignment with the SDG macro indicators on the use of financial, natural and human resources at a national level. Core SDG indicators for companies could also assist countries in implementing metadata guidance for indicator 12.6.1 ”number of companies publishing sustainability reports”, which UNCTAD is developing jointly with UN Environment as co-custodians of this indicator.