Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September 2015. The SDGs embrace a universal approach to the sustainable development agenda. They explicitly call on business to use creativity and innovation to address development challenges and recognize the need for governments to encourage sustainability reporting. 

 Private sector role in sustainable development


There is now an accepted understanding that governments are no longer the only responsible agent in building sustainable societies. Corporate actors and the private sector are crucial in creating green growth outcomes and sustainable development. This new paradigm is anchored in international policy arenas such as the SDGs, and incorporated into national development and trade policies. This is where GRI serves as a powerful agent for change.


 GRI's Contribution to Sustainable Development 2016-2020

GRI’s Sustainable Development Goal is to foster inclusive development and sustainable, green, economic growth by empowering decision makers through our sustainability standards and multi-stakeholder network. GRI's Contribution to Sustainable Development 2016-2020 illustrates how GRI will chart this path over the next five years, following these four key objectives:

  • Sustainable development policy: GRI will enable and strengthen local and international policy surrounding sustainable development and sustainability reporting.
  • Increasing and improving reporting in developing countries: GRI will work towards making reporting relevant for all stakeholders, in particular in developing countries, including those stakeholders who are underserved such as small and medium-sized enterprises, community leaders and advocacy groups.
  • Transformative Capacity Building: GRI will continue to build the capacity of institutions, businesses, governments and communities to be more aware of corporate responsibility by looking for new partnerships, engagements and training opportunities, and empowering the beneficiaries and intended users of reported data.
  • Innovation in emerging issues: GRI will provide clarity and guidance on emerging topics and issues to policy makers and corporations.

The four objectives have two distinctive supporting blocks: GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, and the wealth of data from the reporting process which GRI plans to liberate through the Sustainability Data Platform. Both provide the technical backbone and expertise to GRI’s sustainable development program of work.


 GRI’s thematic Focus Areas

GRI is well-positioned as a global knowledge hub on sustainability reporting policy and sustainable development. It serves as a policy knowledge broker, providing policy relevance on various global themes. In the coming five years, GRI has the ambition to contribute to, and influence corporate practice and public policy on the following themes:

  • Human rights
  • Climate change
  • Good governance and anti-corruption
  • SMEs
  • Trade facilitation and sustainability
  • Capital markets/market regulators
  • Gender equality

With its renewed sustainable development strategy, and detailed action plan covering all four objectives above, GRI aims to lay the groundwork for broader, transformational change to occur, resulting in a more inclusive, sustainable, and green global economy.