The launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has made it clear that the global community relies heavily on all sectors to work together in order to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems, including the private sector. Companies and institutional investors are being asked to contribute to the SDGs through their business activities, asset allocation and investment decisions.
“At its essence, sustainability means ensuring prosperity and environmental protection without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
“The SDGs have fundamentally changed the game. They are the closest thing the world has to a strategy”.
“The SDGs offer the greatest economic opportunity of a lifetime.”
A sustainable global economy is not a luxury. It is a social imperative. Policy instruments and stakeholders, especially the millennials (who await the greatest inter-generational transfer of wealth in human history from their ageing Baby Boomer parents), increasingly demand transparency on corporate social responsibility issues.
Therefore, businesses need to account to both shareholders and stakeholders on financial and non-financial performance. If they hope to attract and retain staff, investors and clients, businesses need to embrace the Triple Bottom Line of people, planet and profit.
Since 2000, GRI's (Global Reporting Initiative) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines have been used by thousands of organisations worldwide to publicly report on their impacts on the economy, the environment and society. Today, 92% of the world’s companies with the highest market capitalisation report on their non-financial performance; 74% of them do so according to GRI.
Besides reporting standards, there are also regulatory drivers. The Luxembourgish Stock Exchange, for example, encourages listed companies to disclose their non-financial information:
Partner, Head of sustainability, PwC Luxembourg
Tel: +352 49 48 48 2285