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GRI and the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (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.

 GRI and the Sustainable Development Goals


​GRI is the bridge between businesses and governments, enabling them both to make positive contributions to the UN SDGs. Business and government leaders can agree with international principles, but without guidance on how to put them into practice, little can be accomplished. We help organizations align big picture, principle-based approaches with the reality of data-driven reporting. This is also true of our work on the SDGs. GRI championed a strong private sector role in the development of the goals and assists with follow-up and review, and is mobilizing businesses understand and contribute to the SDGs. Our work in support of the SDGs empowers the sustainable decision making needed to achieve the goals.

Face to face workshops: Progressing on SDGs e-Learning courses: progressing on SDGs Gender Equality e-Learning SDG Compass SDG Compass SDG Mapping Service SDGs Webinar Track Corporate action group (CAG) for reporting on the sustainable development goals Expert corner webinars series Target 12.6 - Live tracker Better Data for Better Decisions Enabling Smart Policy GRI-Business Call to Action Report – Measuring Impact  


 Enabling Smart Policy

GRI championed the inclusion of a strong private sector role in the SDGs, as seen in Target 12.6.
Throughout the development process of the Sustainable Development Goals, GRI has worked in collaboration with the UN and other international organizations to champion the inclusion of a strong private sector role in the SDGs. SDGs Target 12.6 encourages companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycles.

By acknowledging that significant private sector action is needed to foster sustainable development, the
SDGs leap forward from the Millennium Development Goals, which they now replace. Going forward, GRI will continue engaging with national and regional governments, as well as international authorities, to enable smart policy in furtherance of the SDGs.

GRI - Business Call to Action/ United Nations Development Program Publication
'Measuring Impact: How Business Accelerates the Sustainable Development Goals' is a joint publication from Business Call to Action (BCtA) and GRI, to share early learnings on private sector support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It examines how companies measure their contribution to the SDGs through impact measurement and sustainability reporting, and explores how governments consider the business contribution to the SDGs. The report draws on consultations with 32 companies and 19 governments.

 Making Progress: better data for better decisions


GRI supports decision makers who are committed to achieving the SDGs. Our work in this area is focused on the sustainability reporting process, the value of the information that comes from it and getting this data into the right hands. By helping companies report their contributions to the SDGs, we facilitate the creation of data, which governments can use to track progress and inform better decision making. 

Aligning levels of measurement

The UN Statistical Division has developed indicators to measure the progress on the SDGs, and is currently exploring how to capture private sector contributions. Through engagement with the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDGs, GRI wants to make sure that private sector contributions to the SDGs are duly taken into account and smartly measured.
CBS (the statistical bureau in the Netherlands) and ISTAT (the Italian statistical office) have used GRI indicators in the past for sustainable development indicators. Furthermore, a taskforce was jointly set up by the OECD, Eurostat, UNECE and a selection of national statistical commissions to prepare a framework for measuring sustainable development and associated sets of indicators. The project additionally explored the vertical convergence between different levels of indicators: company, national, and international.

GRI also co-founded the Measure What Matters project – a global initiative that aims to bring greater alignment between corporate, national and global sustainability data frameworks.


 GRI services on the SDGs


GOLD Community
In this new era of sustainability, there is increasing momentum for change. More and more businesses are taking action towards a more sustainable world, but a transformational effort is required, by all actors, to unlock the real value of sustainability data and to live up to the ambitious agreements made at COP21.

Working separately, in isolation, is not a viable option, but working together, we can build toward our common goal - a more sustainable, secure, and stable economy and world. The GRI GOLD Community, which is the evolution of the Organizational Stakeholder (OS) program, offers organizations a unique opportunity to join a collaborative, global multi-stakeholder network to work together to achieve global goals.

GOLD Community members are GRI’s core supporters. They are at the heart of a community that is shaping the future of sustainability and reporting, and empowering decision making that can lead to a more sustainable economy and world. GRI keeps GOLD Community members up to date on the latest insights and trends in sustainability, as well as the latest developments at GRI. The GRI GOLD Community includes diverse companies and organizations from civil society, business, mediating institutions, academia, labor, public and intergovernmental agencies.

The GOLD Community helps leading organizations learn how to measure, manage and communicate their contributions to the achievement of the SDGs.

SDG’s webinar track
Stay up to date with the latest developments on the implementation of the SDGs. The SDGs webinar track provides in depth knowledge on the SDGs, their implementation in reporting and the implications for business models. The aim is to broaden organizations’ knowledge of the SDG’s.

Corporate Leadership Group Reporting 2030
The CLG on Reporting 2030 is a 2-year program for leading companies that are interested in understanding what mega-trends such as the SDGs mean for them in terms of reporting and how they can better communicate their contributions through their disclosures. 

Expert Corner Webinars series
The Expert Corner series is exclusively for the GOLD Community and provides participants with knowledge and insights on current topics and future developments in sustainability and reporting. The aim is to empower decision makers as they develop future strategies. The topics covered are related to the SDGs, like human rights and climate change.

SDG Learning and Training

Progressing on SDG face to face workshop

GRI offers a range of tailored interactive workshops for organizations interested in learning more about Sustainability Reporting and the GRI. This full-day workshop has been designed to support reporting organizations to identify the link between GRI Guidelines and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).This workshops can be requested by any organization, anywhere in the world, and are conducted by an experienced GRI facilitator. The workshop is aimed at report preparers and professionals in the field of CSR and sustainability reporting. The workshop is designed to be interactive, consists of group exercises and is intended to be a full day event.

Progressing on SDGs through GRI Disclosures e-learning

  • What are the SDGs?
  • Why do they matter for business as well as for individuals?
  • How can organizations contribute to achieving the global goals?
  • Where do GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards fit in?
Discover the answers to these critical questions, learn why organizations have role in supporting and reaching the SDGs, and work through practical examples of how organizations report on the SDGs using GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards.
Progressing on SDGs through GRI Disclosures supports individuals and organizations that would like to know more about reporting on the SDGs and topic experts who would like to know more about how sustainability reporting can be a driver for change, helping to achieve the SDGs.
Our Gender e-learning also reference the SDGs
  • What is gender equality?
  • Why does it matter for business as well as for individuals?
  • How can organizations work towards it?
  • Where do GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards fit in?
Discover the answers to these critical questions and gain vital insights and information about GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Standards and how your organization can use them to report your efforts and performance to promote gender equality in your organization.
The GRI Gender Equality course is designed to support individuals and organizations who want to better understand how to promote gender equality and the role of sustainability reporting, using GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards.