A new report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers uncovers how businesses worldwide are currently engaging with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For the ‘SDG Reporting Challenge’, the company examined the corporate and sustainability reporting of 470 businesses from 17 countries. The report highlights which SDGs companies are focusing on and how well they are working to achieve them.

At a glance, the report suggests that companies are not yet fully engaging with the SDGs in their reporting. Out of the 470 companies, only 37% prioritized SDGs. This leaves a total of 63% which either only reported on the SDGs in general terms or simply didn’t mention them at all.

Implementation of the Goals

Looking into more detail at the results, it seems that many companies that mention SDGs are not actively working towards meeting specific goals. The most popular goals to appear in the reports were 13 (Climate Action), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). The authors of the ‘SDG Reporting Challenge’ believe that these are considered to be low-hanging fruit by many companies as these goals can easily be aligned with existing business strategies. In regards to SDG 13, Climate Action, in particular, many companies will already have measuring and reporting processes concerning their greenhouse gas emissions in place, making it a de facto priority anyway.

Huge economic potential

The authors of the study see huge economic potential, should companies succeed in incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals into their business strategy. For example, PwC found that 74% of potential customers are more likely to use goods and services from those companies that actively engage with SDGs. Citing a report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, the ‘SDG Reporting Challenge’ states that a concerted effort to meet the SDGs by 2030 could generate a total of US$12 trillion every year in business savings and revenue whilst also generating up to 380 million jobs.

Read the full report here >>.

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