Responsible business for sustainable development
Economic development contributes to reducing poverty. However, in an interdependent world where natural resources are dwindling and inequality is growing, it is crucial to consider the environmental, social and governance aspects of economic growth. In other words, we must promote development that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable, and is solidly anchored in human rights. To achieve sustainable development, it is essential to engage not only governments, but also the private sector as a key contributor and as a player that should be held accountable for its impacts.
Our long-standing partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has led to several groundbreaking results, from the development of a digital reporting tool, to the launch of new Standards and the targeted growth in policies and regulations to advance sustainability reporting in emerging markets.
‘Responsible Business for Sustainable Development’ is the new program initiated under this partnership, together with the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The program will pursue greater integration of sustainable development disclosures into organizations’ business strategies as well as policymaking, to help catalyze action toward the SDGs.
Within the program, GRI wants to show impact through:
- Increased use of disclosed sustainability data into business practices.
- Supporting evidence-based dialogue for international and national policies and approaches.
- National Plans on responsible business that are developed and aligned with national strategies for sustainable development.
- Support for the world’s first Tax Standard in December 2019.
- Launch of sector standards projects on: Oil, Gas and Coal and Agriculture and Fisheries.
- Development of a Digital Reporting Tool, allowing companies to disclose custom-made reports on their sustainability impacts aligned with the GRI Standards.
- 23% increase in the number of reports issued by (for-profit) corporations in low and middle-income countries since 2018.
- 10% increase in policy frameworks and 24% increase in policy instruments referencing GRI since 2016, as measured by GRI’s publication Carrots and Sticks (latest edition July 2020)
- Increased representation from developing countries in GRI’s governance bodies, with 14 members supported to attend the GRI Standards development process.
- Engagements established with stock exchanges and market regulators, including the Mumbai, Hong Kong, Nigerian, and Taiwanese stock exchanges, to promote reporting and help create more inclusive markets in emerging economies.
- Development of policy recommendations and guidelines publications on sustainability reporting, ranging from Human Rights to the SDGs.
- SDG Compass developed together with the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, to guide companies in aligning their strategies with the SDGs.
Resources (Download from the 'Related documents' section below)
- Carrots and Sticks: Sustainability Reporting Policy: Global trends in disclosure as the ESG agenda goes mainstream (2020)
- Examples of Corporate Reporting
- Overview (2017): Helping tackle poverty in developing countries
- Publication/study (2016): Can corporate reporting help end poverty?
- Discussion paper (2018): Corporate reporting on poverty
- Business Reporting on the SDGs series (incl. translations):
- Analysis of the goals and targets
- Integrating the SDGs into corporate reporting: A practical guide
- In focus: Addressing investor needs in business reporting on the SDGs
- Toolkit (2019): Advancing reporting on responsible minerals sourcing
- Policy recommendations publications:
- Strengthening business accountability in the National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: Policy recommendations on transparency (2019)
- Engaging business in the NDCs: policy recommendations on the role of the private sector and reporting (2019)
- Using corporate reporting to strengthen sustainable development goals: Recommendations for national policy makers