SDG Tools & Resources
About the Sustainable Development Goals
From MDGs to SDGs
In 2012, the United Nations began a process of determining the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were set to expire in 2015. The task of defining a future development agenda was led by Member States with broad participation from different stakeholder groups, including businesses and investors. This created an opportune moment for the UN Global Compact to help shape the future priorities of the UN and to prepare for supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were the culmination of this process. The new SDG framework builds on the MDGs. However, attempts to broaden the scope to include a range of economic and environmental objectives alongside traditional development objectives such as health and education has taken place. The SDGs lay out goals towards a more a peaceful, better governed and inclusive society. For the past several years, the UN Global Compact has played an important role in bringing business perspectives to the process of shaping the SDGs and will continue to support companies in implementing them. Below are a number of examples of toolkits and resources which the UN Global Compact has developed.
The Post-2015 Business Engagement Architecture
The Post-2015 Business Engagement Architecture illustrates the main building blocks necessary to enhance corporate sustainability as an effective contribution to sustainable development, creating value for both business and society. Each of these building blocks must be further strengthened and connected through a comprehensive and collective effort if they are to help take corporate sustainability to scale and turn business into a truly transformative force in the post-2015 era.
Getting Started with the Goals
The SDG Compass
The SDG Compass guides companies on how they can align their strategies as well as measure and manage their contribution to the realization of the SDGs. The SDG Compass presents five steps that assist companies in maximizing their contribution to the SDGs: understanding the SDGs, defining priorities, goal setting, integrating sustainability and reporting. Watch a recording of our webinar series on the SDG Compass.
The SDG Action Manager
The SDG Action Manager is a new web-based impact management solution which has been developed by the UN Global Compact in cooperation with B Lab. The SDG Action Manager enables your company to learn which SDGs matter most to you based on your company profile, to get a clear view of how your operations, supply chain, and business model create positive impact, to identify risk areas for each SDG, to set goals and track improvement on the dashboard, to collaborate across your company and to see real-time progress through thought-provoking yet actionable assessment questions, benchmarks and improvement guides. Watch a recording of our webinar and live demo of the SDG Action Manager.
The Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs
The Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs aims to inspire all business — regardless of size, sector or geography — to take leading action in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It illustrates how the five leadership qualities of Ambition, Collaboration, Accountability, Consistency, and Intentional can be applied to a business' strategy, business model, products, supply chain, partnerships, and operations to raise the bar and create impact at scale. The Blueprint is a tool for any business that is ready to advance its principled approach to SDG action to become a leader.
Reporting on the SDGs
Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide
The Practical Guide outlines a three-step process to embed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into existing business and reporting processes. It helps business to better report their impact on the SDGs and address the information needs of relevant stakeholders. This Guide follows an approach that is aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the GRI Standards.
An Analysis of the Goals and Targets
This report is a first step towards a uniform mechanism for business to report on their contribution to and impact on the SDGs in an effective and comparable way. It contains a list of existing and established disclosures that businesses can use to report, and identifies relevant gaps, where disclosures are not available. It also lists illustrative actions that businesses can take to make progress towards the SDG targets.
Addressing Investor Needs in Business Reporting on the SDGs
Addressing Investor Needs in Business Reporting on the SDGs features recommendations on how corporate reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can best address investors’ information needs. By helping inform investors' decision-making process, corporate SDG reporting can stimulate more investment in sustainable business solutions to help advance the Global Goals.
Support the Goals is an initiative that encourages businesses to publicly support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It provides ratings and recognition for businesses supporting the goals which can help develop stronger supply chains, enhance ESG performance, and obtain positive publicity. Support the Goals now offer a free programme for members to involve their suppliers along with advice and recommendations to those who need more help. The ratings are often used by leading organisations to track progress from their suppliers, investments and customers.
Advancing the Goals through Innovative Solutions, Partnerships, & Ambitious Actions
The Action Platforms to achieve the SDGs
To achieve the ambitious and necessary goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN Global Compact has developed a portfolio of Action Platforms to advance responsible business activities and fill emerging gaps in meeting the Global Goals. Rooted in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, each Action Platform will convene business, Global Compact Local Networks, leading experts, civil society, Governments and UN partners to solve complex and interconnected issues, explore new market opportunities and innovate around the Global Goals.
The SDG Industry Matrix
The SDG Industry Matrix is a joint collaboration between the UN Global Compact and KPMG. The matrix highlights industry-specific examples and ideas for corporate action related to the SDGs. Presented in a series of publications, each matrix presents bold pursuits and decisions made by diverse companies for each SDG. The SDG Industry Matrices are intended to inspire greater business pursuit of opportunities which create value for society, as well as for shareholders. This could be through sparking new innovative approaches, prompting companies to replicate successful activities in new markets, and catalysing new collaborations and increasing participation in existing collaborations.
The Global Opportunity Explorer
The Global Opportunity Explorer provides the global business community with direct access to the most innovative business solutions and emerging market opportunities to help achieve and understand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), end extreme poverty, reduce inequality and protect our planet. A joint project of DNV GL, Sustainia and the UN Global Compact, the Explorer is a digital platform that helps business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors connect with new partners, projects, markets and talents to deliver on the SDGs.
Global Compact LEAD
All of LEAD’s work aims to inspire and advance the full integration of sustainability into core business operations. In 2016 LEAD will play a critical role in leading, advancing and inspiring company action towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through core business and partnerships, exploring the need for breakthrough innovations business models and technologies, and continuing its efforts in shaping investor-company engagement and communication.
For a quick overview of the main tools available around business engagement with the SDGs, please see the UK Network's Toolkit.
Transforming Partnerships for the SDGs
In this report, the UN Global Compact focuses its attention on transforming partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Following a decade of research into the views of business leaders worldwide, the UN Global Compact examines the views of UN leaders. As the UN Secretary-General calls for enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the private sector, the UN Global Compact asks agency heads and partnership practitioners across the UN system: what will it take to scale up partnerships to bring about transformational impact on the SDGs?
RELX SDG Resource Centre
You can also check out the Relx SDG Resource Centre which showcases the latest in science, law, business, events and more that can help drive forward the SDGs. The content on the SDG Resource Centre includes articles, reports, legal practical guidance, tools, webinars and videos and events, categorised by SDG and tagged with relevant topics and region.
National Progress on the SDGs
UK’s Office for National Statistics’ SDG page
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for finding and reporting UK data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG team report the data using the methodology agreed by the United Nations (UN). The UK data feed into the UN’s picture of global progress towards the SDGs.
UK's Voluntary National Review
As part of the process for reviewing and monitoring progress towards the Goals, all UN Member States are expected to carry out a national review of progress towards the Goals at least once in the period to 2030. This process is called a Voluntary National Review, leading to a report that is then presented to the annual UN High-Level Political Forum. This is the UK’s first Voluntary National Review. Click here to read.
UKSSD Report: Measuring up: How the UK is performing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals
UKSSD report, ‘Measuring up’, shows how the UK is performing on the SDGs for the first time. Measuring up is the most comprehensive review of the current situation in the UK conducted to date. It tells us what is happening in the UK for people, the environment, and the economy.
Ambition Guide: Setting Goals for The Decade of Action
The Ambition Guide: Setting Goals for The Decade of Action establishes the set of SDG Ambition Benchmarks that challenge organizations to set more ambitious goals and targets in the areas in which business is positioned to have a substantial impact. Companies can use this document to support their strategy and set goals ambitious enough to deliver the SDGs by 2030.
Integration Guide: Designing Business Systems for the SDGs
The Integration Guide: Designing Business Systems for the SDGs presents the approach through which the ten SDG Ambition Benchmarks can be integrated into core business processes and systems to enable effective measurement and management of sustainability performance. Business leaders can use this publication to identify the system opportunities to integrate the SDGs into core business processes.
SDG Ambition Benchmark Reference Sheets (for consultation)
The SDG Ambition Benchmarks are 10 Benchmarks developed by the UN Global Compact to help businesses more effectively integrate the SDGs into their business. The SDG Ambition Benchmark Reference Sheets were produced to help businesses better understand the 10 Benchmarks. These documents lay out detailed steps on how to integrate each of the 10 SDG Ambition Benchmarks into a company’s business systems, whilst also illustrating the key design decisions required to engage technology partners.
SDG Ambition: Scaling Business Impact for the Decade of Action
In the SDG Ambition: Scaling Business Impact for the Decade of Action, the UN Global Compact provides an introduction to SDG Ambition. By raising ambition, deepening integration, and embracing new technologies, business can become a leading actor in achieving the SDGs. This publication also includes an introduction to the SDG Implementation Framework, which is aimed at guiding companies to deepen integration of the SDGs and Ten Principles into business strategy, operations, and stakeholder engagement.