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January 31, 2020

New tool to help companies track SDG progress

The United Nations Global Compact has developed a new tool to help businesses of all sizes improve and track their progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

By Beth Wright

The United Nations Global Compact has developed a new tool to help businesses of all sizes improve and track their progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With ten years left to meet the deadline of achieving the SDGs by the 2030 deadline, the new SDG Action Manager has been created with non-profit organisation B Lab, which operates the B Corporation certification initiative.

The web-based impact management platform enables companies to track their progress toward achieving the SDGs and better manage their sustainability performance.

The SDGs were adopted by the UN in late 2015 and lay out an ambitious roadmap for improving the lives of people around the world. Broadly speaking, they comprise 169 targets designed to advance 17 overarching goals, which include poverty eradication, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and decent work. 

The SDG Action Manager is available in five languages and is free to access. It acts as a guide to identifying which SDGs matter most to individual businesses based on their company profile and helps identify risk areas for each SDG. In addition, a dashboard lets users visualise progress and track performance.

“Despite real progress being made by the business community, there is clear recognition that action is not measuring up to the size of the challenge. The business community has an important role to play delivering on the promise of a shared, durable prosperity for all,” says Lise Kingo, CEO and executive director of the United Nations Global Compact.

“Grounded in our principles-based approach, the SDG Action Manager was developed to mobilise the private sector to take meaningful action and get us back on track to achieve the 2030 Agenda.” 

The tool is informed by the work and feedback from a range of stakeholders, including experts in corporate sustainability, civil society, the UN, and academia; and is inspired by the Certified B Corporation community and participating companies of the UN Global Compact.

It was developed with support from the following funding partners: The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Generation Foundation, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Emmanuel Faber as an individual donor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation. 

As a special initiative of the UN secretary-general, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. 

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