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.
The Responsible Business for Sustainable Development program runs from January 2018 to December 2022. Some of the results and resources produced so far are listed below:
- The program contributes to GRI’s Standards development work, with the release of the revised Universal Standards (2021), the world’s first Tax Standard (2019) and the following Sector Standards: GRI 11: Oil and Gas Sector in 2021 and Sector Standards for Coal and Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries expected in 2022
- The program supports the GRI Academy scholarship in Africa, Hispanic America and South East Asia
- SDGs Podcast series, developed and launched in 2021
Updates to the Professional Certification Program following the launch of the revised Universal Standards, as well as the launch of the continuing education units (CEU) courses.
- Provided support to the development of the Nairobi Securities Exchange ESG Disclosures Guidance Manual (2021)
- Published the 2020 Sustainability Reporting Trends in South Asia, which considers the reporting landscape in the region between 2014 and 2019 and analyzes the extent to which various disclosure initiatives are being used by companies in each country.
- 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, in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Eswatini, Nairobi, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, 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.
(Download from the 'Related documents' section below)
- Guía De Reporte Y Divulgación De Sostenibilidad Para Emisores En Chile (2021)
- Report: A pathway to manage private sector impact on Bangladesh National Priority Indicators & on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2021)
- Publication (2020): Sustainability Reporting Trends in South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka)
- Carrots and Sticks: Sustainability Reporting Policy: Global trends in disclosure as the ESG agenda goes mainstream (2020)
- Integrated reporting on the SDGs: Examples of Corporate Reporting (2020)
- Toolkit: Advancing reporting on responsible minerals sourcing (2019)
- Corporate reporting on poverty (2018)
Business Reporting on the SDGs series (incl. translations):
- Analysis of the goals and targets (2019)
- Integrating the SDGs into corporate reporting: A practical guide (2019)
- In focus: Addressing investor needs in business reporting on the SDGs (2019)
Policy recommendations publications:
- A Guide for Policy Makers on the GRI Standards, supported by Ms. Cecilia Ekholm, Sweden's Ambassador for Sustainable Business (2021).
- Using corporate reporting to strengthen sustainable development goals: Recommendations for national policymakers (2020)
- El ABC de los Estándares GRI para funcionarios públicos (The ABCs of the GRI Standards for public officials) (2020)
- 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)