Business reporting of Sustainable Development Goals: Global trends and implications

Chonlawan Thammaraksa*, Caroline Herlev Gebara, Michael Zwicky Hauschild, Caroline Aggestam Pontoppidan, Alexis Laurent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

With a reported insufficient progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improving knowledge on the uptake and use of SDGs within the private sector is imperative. To address this need, we examine the SDG reporting characteristics of 8500 companies using a global business and governance database. Our results show no correlation in reporting specific goals, which could impede progress toward other goals. A disconnection between corporate sustainability performances and SDG reporting is also observed, meaning companies may select and report specific SDGs arbitrarily without rooting them with actual sustainability performances. These findings question the motivation and effectiveness of current SDG reporting and call for more guidance on SDG indicator selection and performance assessment. Looking ahead, SDG communication practices are anticipated to change due to the advent of new corporate sustainability reporting regulations. We therefore call for continuous monitoring of SDG adoption, uptake, and communication in businesses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
ISSN0964-4733
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Corporate sustainability performance
  • ESG performance
  • SDG linkages
  • SDG-washing
  • Sustainability reporting
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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