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Corporate reporting and the SDGs

By GEC · 18th June, 2012
Patryk Gradys 128898

On the first day of the UNCSD high level session (Rio+20), leaders from business, government and civil society launched a high-level working group to align the processes to generate improved corporate reporting, alternative GDP metrics and global Sustainable Development Goals.

Convened by the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, the Green Economy Coalition, Stakeholder Forum and the International Integrated Reporting Council, the meeting brought together business, NGOs and governments to discuss metrics for ‘progress’ at the global, national and corporate level proposed in the outcome document for Rio+20 – The Future We Want.

The product of six months of intergovernmental negotiations, The Future We Want calls for large and publicly listed companies to report on their sustainability; recognizes the need for broader measures of progress to complement GDP in order to better inform policy decisions; and advises establishing a set of global Sustainable Development Goals.

The panel all welcomed the progress that has been made in the outcome document but unanimously agreed that all three agendas – corporate reporting, beyond GDP and Sustainable Development Goals - need to share the same vision of progress if they are to be transformative. Participants agreed to launch a high-level panel to bring these three agendas together.

Panellists included Paula Caballero, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia; Dasho Tshiteem, Secretary of the Gross National Happiness Commission, Bhutan; Paul Druckman, Chief Executive Officer, International Integrated Reporting Council, Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative, Philippe Joubert, Senior Advisor, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Oliver Greenfield, Convenor, Green Economy Coalition.

‘One of the only things to have come out of this conference is the understanding that we need to start measuring what matters’
says Oliver Greenfield, Convenor of the Green Economy Coalition; ‘But, metrics will only be transformational if businesses, governments and communities all share the same idea of progress’.

‘We are delighted to have brought together this working group focussing on aligning the way we define and measure progress at the global, national and corporate level; the enthusiasm in the room today shows there is true momentum behind the Sustainable Development Goals, but we now need to turn this into action - the alignment of metrics at each level of our economy is crucial if we are to achieve a sustainable economy’. - Sarah Nolleth, Director, Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project.

‘Business as usual is no longer an option and corporations must contribute to the long term goals of people and the planet. Corporations need to be guided by national and international frameworks for progress’. - Philippe Joubert, WBCSD.

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