SDG Reporting Challenge 2018

From promise to reality: Does business really care about the SDGs?

And what needs to happen to turn words into action


Every organisation is influenced by or has influence on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs have broken into the mainstream of business reporting

  • 72% now mention the goals in their annual corporate or sustainability report
  • 50% of companies have identified priority SDGs

Putting the SDGs in the heart of business strategy continues to be a challenge for business

  • 54% of those that prioritised the goals, mention the goals in their business strategy

The SDGs aren’t hitting the CEO agenda, with other risks flying higher on the radar.

  • Just 19% of CEO or Chair statements in annual reports mention the SDGs

Quality of reporting is improving, but has a long way to go.

  • Average score for reporting quality for those companies that had prioritised SDGs was 2.71 out of 5
  •  23% of companies disclosed meaningful Key Performance Indicators and targets related to the SDGs

Explore the data

We’ve analysed the corporate and sustainability reports of 729 companies across 21 territories and 6 broad industry groups. Compare how well businesses in your sector or geography are communicating their progress towards the SDGs.

Explore the data

Turning words into action

A blueprint for SDG success:  

  1. Every part of the organisation has a role to play - it is not just a CSR issue
  2. Leadership is key - CEOs and senior executives need to take an active interest in driving progress
  3. Establish meaningful KPIs to use to drive action and report on progress
  4. Aim for the same level of quality of reporting on financial and non-financial information

"Progress on broad awareness and integration is a positive step for the SDGs, but it’s only a small step. For every one of the 17 goals there are pressing real issues that directly impact the world of business."

Louise Scott, Director, Global Sustainability, PwC United Kingdom

Benchmark your performance

As part of our research we’ve collected performance data on 20 commonly reported KPIs for each of the 729 companies we analysed.

For example, to evaluate business strategy and performance for Gender Equality (SDG5), we looked at 3 KPIs for each company:

  1. the percentage of female employees within the total workforce
  2. the percentage of female managers (excluding those at board level)
  3. the percentage of female board members

The KPIs for Gender Equality (SDG5) are just one example of how businesses are measuring and tracking progress towards the SDGs. We can benchmark performance for all companies across 11 of the 17 SDGs. If you’d like to find out more information about the findings of this report or compare your performance against your peers, please get in touch. 


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