Business Call to Action, in partnership with UNDP Colombia and GRI, supported the National Government to develop a Voluntary National Review (VNR) capturing private’s sector contribution in localising the SDGs, which was presented in New York during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2018. Seventy companies from eight sectors reported on sustainable indicators by using SDG technical sheets developed by BCtA and UNDP, with the support of the national association of banks in Colombia.
This initiative has encouraged public-private dialogue around the SDGs, which allows governments to access relevant information and data that enables them to track progress and setbacks, and analyze trends, gaps and opportunities that will serve provide the foundation for developing sustainable business ecosystems and shape supportive local and global policies . The private sector is a key player to effectively achieve the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. Its role has shifted from a traditional financial partner to a more active one by engaging with communities, governments and other stakeholders to foster sustainable development. The SDGs represent a common language for all actors in society to contribute to sustainable development and constitutes a global framework for businesses to align and contribute to society.
In recent years businesses have advanced significantly, not only by adopting sustainability strategies, but also by adopting sustainability reporting to measure and communicate their economic, environmental and social impacts. This information is often generated sparsely and, usually, it is not aligned with the SDGs. This hinders its accurate and timely collection and aggregation to assess the overall contribution of private sector to sustainable development. Many companies around the world use the GRI Standards to report on their sustainability impacts, The GRI Standards are the first global standards for sustainability reporting. They feature a modular, interrelated structure, and represent the global best practice for reporting on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts. In 2017, UN Global Compact and GRI Business Reporting on the SDGs: An Analysis of the Goals and Targets, a first step towards a uniform mechanism for business to report on their contribution to and impact on the SDGs in an effective and comparable way. The publication contains a list of existing and established disclosures that businesses can use to report on their contribution and impacts on the SDGs. It also lists illustrative actions that businesses can take to make progress towards the SDG targets. Therefore, there is a valuable information about business impacts on the SDGs, which comes from corporate sustainability reporting.
This four-pager seeks to explain how the National Government is considering the contribution of the Colombian Private Sector to the SDGs, to understand its overall impact and contribution, without imposing any burden, but facilitating the collection of SDGs related business data, already disclosed by companies, through impact measurement and sustainability reporting according to the GRI Standards.