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. 

Results 

  • 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)

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: 

    • Using corporate reporting to strengthen sustainable development goals: Recommendations for national policy makers (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)

Related documents

Business reporting on the SDGs: Integrating the SDGs into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide file 01 Oct 2019 English 966 KB
Business reporting on the SDGs: In Focus: Addressing Investor Needs in Business Reporting on the SDGs file 16 Sep 2020 English 2.1 MB
Business reporting on the SDGs: Analysis of the goals and targets file 01 Feb 2019 English 5.2 MB
Using Corporate reporting to Strengthen Sustainable Development Goals: Recommendations for National Policy Makers file 16 Sep 2020 English 5.9 MB
Strengthening business accountability in the National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: Policy recommendations on transparency file 16 Sep 2020 English 3.7 MB
Spanish Translation: Strengthening business accountability in the National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: Policy recommendations on transparency file 30 Nov 2020 Spanish 1.2 MB
Advancing Reporting On Responsible Mineral Sourcing file 14 Oct 2019 English 21.7 MB
Engaging business in the NDCs: Policy recommendations on the role of the private sector and reporting file 06 Jun 2019 English 1 MB
El ABC de los Estándares GRI para funcionarios públicos (The ABC of GRI Standards for public officials) (2020) file 31 Aug 2020 Spanish 6.3 MB
Corporate reporting on poverty file 01 Oct 2018 English 3.5 MB
Can corporate reporting help end poverty? file 01 Aug 2016 English 2.3 MB
Helping tackle poverty in developing countries file 01 Mar 2017 English 3 MB

Become a partner

Interested in our donor-funded programs and contributing to GRI’s mission? We welcome all types of partners: foundations, governments, organizations and individuals.  Contact Asthildur Hjaltadottir, Chief Regional Officer

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