The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) called for submissions on the first draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Impact Standards for Enterprises (the Standards).
These Standards are a set of practices that organisations can apply to help build a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world. They provide a common language and best-practice guidance for integrating impact management into business and investment practices and decision-making with an eye towards positive and negative effects on people and the planet. Grounded in existing high-level principles, the Standards provide context for applying other tools and frameworks, including metrics, taxonomies and reporting frameworks.
Our submission focused on the following key points:
- The accounting profession has a vital role to play in contributing towards the achievement of the SDGs. We act in the public interest, promoting strong economies and a prosperous society. We support and welcome the development of the Standards as practical guidance for enterprises in carrying out and reporting on their activities (both from a governance perspective but also in day-to-day management).
- We commend the UNDP in pursuing activities that ultimately help to enhance the credibility of SDG disclosures and to embed SDG considerations into strategic business decisions.
- We are supportive of the foundational elements of the Standards and the four themes that the Standards are divided between.
- We note that the transparency related practice indicators make reference to external reporting and the need for assurance. To this end, we encourage the UNDP to engage in conversations with corporate reporting organisations to discuss how, post the internal decision-making process, the information to be disclosed by the Standards could be best reported (and subsequently assured). These conversations will be crucial for facilitating widespread uptake of the SDGs (including the Standards and disclosure recommendations) by all organisations, particularly those who are currently more focused on traditional financial reporting.
SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises
Homepage for the Standards and to follow the consultation.Find out more