• Register
Return to: Home > News > Financial Results > UN Sustainable Development Goals disclosure recommendations

UN Sustainable Development Goals disclosure recommendations

Leading accounting bodies have called for corporate and asset owner action and improved reporting on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in an attempt to hit goals set for 2030. The recommendations are detailed in the report, Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations, authored by Carol Adams, Professor of Accounting, with Paul Druckman and Russell Picot, Honorary Professors at Durham University Business School

The report has been published by global accountancy bodies -  International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the World Benchmarking Alliance. It is also endorsed by the Director of SDG Impact from the United Nations Development Programme (UN-DP). 

The SDGD Recommendations offer a new approach for businesses and other organisations to address sustainable development issues aligned to the three most influential and popular reporting frameworks. They attempt to establish a best practice for corporate reporting on the SDGs and enable more effective and standardised reporting and transparency on climate change, social and other environmental impacts.

The SDGD Recommendations were developed through consultation with accounting and finance professionals, sustainability experts, academics, consultants, framework and standard setters, asset owners and managers and civil society participants. 

Responses to the consultation have been published in Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations: Feedback on the consultation. They show strong support for alignment of SDGD Recommendations with other key reporting frameworks/standards (those of the Task force on Climate-related Disclosure, the Global Reporting Initiative and the International <IR> Framework).  Respondents agreed that accountability for value destruction and negative impacts are critical. 

The SDGD Recommendations call on organisations to consider sustainable development risks and opportunities relevant to their long term value creation strategy and communicate the actual or potential impacts on achievement of the SDGs. This will require relevant and material disclosures about the factors that influence long term value creation (or destruction) for the organisation and society or that have an impact (positive of negative) on the achievement of the SDGs in the annual report. 

Professor Carol Adams says, “There is increasing awareness in both business and investment communities that the health and wellbeing of the planet and its people impact on the longer term success of business.  The SDGs offer an opportunity to collaborate and address this. A change in what and how business is done is essential to the achievement of the SDGs.  Key to driving change is the requirement for a statement from the Board Chair that the Board accepts responsibility for the SDG Disclosures in the annual report.”

These Recommendations are built upon a suggested five-step approach for contributing to the SDGs aligned with long-term value creation, previously developed by Professor Adams and published by the IIRC and ICAS.

Elizabeth Boggs-Davidsen, Director of SDG Impact at the UN DP said: “To achieve the SDGs companies and investors will need to move away from mapping existing activities to the goals to a more integrated practice of directing and disclosing on investment activities that create more impact and contribute to progress towards the SDGs.”

Gerbrand Haverkamp, Executive Director at the World Benchmarking Alliance said, “Without companies aligning their business models and operations with the SDGs - they simply won’t be achieved. We therefore need to work together in translating scientific and societal expectations into clear reporting guidance for companies. This will create the data the World Benchmarking Alliance and others can use to assess and rank corporate performance in a manner that is transparent and free for everyone to see.” 

Kevin Dancey, CEO at the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) said, "Achieving the SDGs requires dedication from business, and the urgency continues to grow. We fully support global best practices that enable effective, transparent reporting on sustainability measures. It's imperative that we act together and that we act now to secure a sustainable future.”

Top Content

    Brazil: regulation and technology form basis for recovery

    Opportunities in the capital markets and the ever-growing influence of technology are expected to have a significant impact on the Brazilian accounting profession over the next 12 months, writes Paul Golden.

    read more

    Mentoring support and the opportunity to delegate

    Jon Lisby will be known to many from his former role as CEO of Kreston International. Here, he explains the background to his new venture, Global Alliance Advisory Services (GAAS), and how he aims to offer support to alliance CEOs.

    read more

    Global by name, global by nature

    Stephen Heathcote became chief executive officer of PrimeGlobal on 1 June 2019. Robin Amlôt met him to discuss the various new challenges that he has taken on, and his ambitions for the association.

    read more

    ARGA team, assemble!

    The new top team has been named that will see in root-and-branch reform at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it transforms into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Will the new duo be as dynamic as some are hoping? Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.