In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNCTAD has focused efforts on harmonization of companies reporting on their contribution to the SDG implementation. Accordingly, it developed its “Guidance on core indicators for entity reporting on contribution towards implementation of Sustainability Development Goals" (GCI) to facilitate progress in this area. The GCI is a tool to assist governments to design policies and build institutional mechanisms to collect data from companies’ reports to reflect the private sector’s contribution to the SDGs in a consistent and comparable manner, and to report on the SDG indicator 12.6.1. It also aims to assist companies to provide data on a limited number of universal and core SDG baseline indicators. Thirty-three indicators have been selected based on main reporting frameworks, most frequent reporting practices, and in alignment with key reporting principles and the SDG monitoring framework. More than 20 GCI case studies in different countries and various industries have been prepared. The case studies have provided a basis for further validation efforts of the GCI tool. They contain examples of good practices of how SDG reporting by companies could be done, identified challenges, and provided practical feedback on the GCI implementation.
In addition, UNCTAD is implementing the Development Account (DA) project titled Enabling policy frameworks for enterprise sustainability and SDG reporting in Africa and Latin America where South Africa has been selected as one of the beneficiary countries. The project’s main objective is to strengthen the capacities of Governments to measure and monitor the private sector contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular to provide data on indicator 12.6.1. Number of companies publishing sustainability reports. The GCI is one of the key tools that is being used to implement the activities in the DA project.
Moreover, during the 37th session of ISAR, the Group of Experts recognized the important role that the GCI has been playing as a useful tool to facilitate the convergence of sustainability reporting frameworks by providing early on an initial and simple common set of universal indicators for entities’ baseline reporting on sustainability issues in alignment with the 2030 Agenda. It also noted the usefulness of capacity-building efforts provided by the UNCTAD secretariat to facilitate wider use of the GCI, raising awareness and dissemination thereof, including for SMEs, and encouraged further activities in this area with a view to facilitating further convergence and alignment of reporting frameworks and practices. These core indicators, which are applicable to all geographies, sectors and sizes of companies, are intended as a starting or entry point in relation to sustainability and SDG reporting by enterprises.
Against this background, UNCTAD is organizing a webinar for the key experts and stakeholders in the area of sustainability/SDG and reporting in South Africa with a view to present the “Guidance on core indicators for entity reporting on contribution towards implementation of Sustainability Development Goals" (GCI), inform on the findings of the conducted case studies in South Africa and other countries as well as share an update on the international trends and developments in this area.