GRI calls for business and governments to partner on SDGs

The chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) had called for greater collaboration and cooperation between businesses and national governments in order to achieve the aims of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

GRI calls for business and governments to partner on SDGs

The GRI, one of the most recognisable standards for sustainability reporting, partnered with the Bombay Stock Exchange earlier this week to host a special dialogue event in Mumbai, regarding the SDGs.

During the event, the GRI’s chairman Eric Hespenheide called on governments to achieve the SDGs by “harnessing the power” of private sector firms that have been excelling in sustainable development for some time.

“More and more governments are realising the value of corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting,” Hespenheide said. “We now need business and governments around the world to work together to adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability disclosures, as supported by the GRI Standards, into their core ways of working. 

“By mandating disclosure of high quality environmental, social and governance information, India can lead the way, along with other growing economies, in harnessing the power of the private sector to drive sustainable development.” 

Hespenheide noted that India had implemented a regulation committing the nation to spend 2% of its net profits on corporate social responsibility. The GRI chair claimed that a cooperative approach would be essential in spurring action towards the SDGs.

The GRI is also part of a coalition of corporate reporting to have launched a new scheme aimed at unifying the business community’s approach to sustainability reporting. Through the scheme, the bodies have committed to support the Taskforce on Climate Related Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, adhere to a common statement on materiality and prepare “effective and coherent disclosures”.

Voluntary review

As for the SDGs, the UK Government has finally agreed to a voluntary review of its contributions to the Global Goals. The UK is set to submit its “main message” of the review by 17 May, to the UN High Level Political Forum, which will take place in July.

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is set to hold a one-off evidence session to examine the UK Government’s voluntary national review towards achieving the SDGs.

The UK Government’s attempts at addressing and implementing the SDGs have been labelled “a total fail” by the EAC in the past.

The SDGs at edie Live 2019

The Sustainable Development Goals are taking centre stage at the UK’s largest sustainability and energy exhibition this year, with an entire Theatre and day dedicated to the topic at edie Live on 21-22 May.

The two-day show – edie’s biggest event of the year – has become a highlight of the calendar for sustainability, energy and environment professionals looking for new ideas and solutions that will help them achieve a low-carbon, resource efficient and profitable future for their business.

Register for your free edie Live 2019 pass here.

Matt Mace

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