Accountancy giant KPMG has partnered with Textile Exchange to provide a roadmap for companies seeking to integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their supply chains, offering practical guidance for engagement.

The SDGs are a set of 17 universally agreed-upon goals addressing the top current environmental, social and economic issues. According to the joint reportThreading the Needle: Weaving the Sustainable Development Goals into the Textile, Retail and Apparel Industry,’ they offer many business opportunities for companies while addressing critical operational risks.

The report builds on the SDG Industry Matrix – a series of publications that profiled shared value opportunities in relation to the SDG targets – developed by KPMG in 2015 in conjunction with the UN Global Compact.

It was compiled through desk research of publicly available data and interviews with corporate sustainability leaders and members of the Textile Exchange that have integrated the SDGs into their core business.

Specifically, the report provides representative examples of SDG aligned shared value opportunities specific to the textile, appareland retail industry, resources for starting and enhancing the SDG journey, including guidance on multi-stakeholder partnerships and country-specific considerations, and it outlines a cluster approach to SDG integration that maps potential programmes to defined business needs. It also demonstrates a road map for making the business case for SDG integration.

“Threading the Needle is an important first step in understanding how existing industry initiatives can advance the 2030 Agenda, including adoption of more sustainable fibers and materials, responsible production and circular business practices,” says La Rhea Pepper, MD of Textile Exchange.

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Anita Whitehead, principal for KPMG’s Development and Exempt Organizations (DEO) practice in the US, adds: “The report provides a roadmap for companies seeking to realise the SDGs in their own sector and value chain. The report aims to provide companies with guidance and information that will help prioritize their SDG focus where it can generate the most impact.”