New tool to help businesses track SDGs progress

The globe remains with 10 years to meet the deadline of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In Summary

•The SDG Action Manager allows self-assessment for businesses, while enabling them to benchmark their performance.

•The globe is expected to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending poverty and hunger, by 2030.

"The concept of leaving no-one behind has further – more distal – ramifications in the global development agenda." /REUTERS
"The concept of leaving no-one behind has further – more distal – ramifications in the global development agenda." /REUTERS

A new web-based impact management solution for the global business community has launched in Kenya, aimed supporting the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).

This comes as the globe remains with 10 years to meet the deadline of achieving the 17 SDGs, by 2030, which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve oceans and forests.

The SDGs include responsible consumption and production, industry, innovation and infrastructure, decent work and economic growth and affordable and clean energy, adopted in September 2015.

Dubbed “SDG Action Manager”, the platform empowers companies of all sizes, anywhere in the world, to take meaningful action and track their progress on the global goals.

Developed by B Lab and the UN Global Compact, the SDG Action Manager brings together B Lab’s B Impact Assessment, the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the SDGs, to enable businesses to take meaningful action on the SDGs through 2030.

Global Compact Network Kenya executive director Judy Njino on Wednesday said there is need for all business leaders to set radical goals and establish a "new normal" for doing business.

“The delivery for the SDGs requires bold action from business on a scale we have never seen before,” Njino said.

She said every individual effort from large and small businesses alike will count in helping realize collective goals.

To bridge the gap between commitment and action, the SDG Action Manager is available to all companies to self assess, benchmark and improve their sustainability performance.

B Lab East Africa executive director Ngwing Kimani noted that there are companies who are already taking action, but have no uniform way to measure their progress and therefore find it difficult to determine whether their actions are having any positive effect.

“This tool is important because it provides a platform to select specific goals, establish a baseline starting point, measure progress and learn from peers,” Kimani said.

Questions within the tool are tailored to a company based on their size, sector, and geographic market.

This enables a company to not only carry out self-assessment, but also benchmark their performance and identify relevant SDGs where they are meeting the set target and where they are behind set targets.

The SDG Action Manager is free to access by companies and is informed by the work and feedback from a range of stakeholders, including experts in corporate sustainability, civil society, the UN and academia.

It is inspired by the Certified B Corporation community and participating companies of the UN Global Compact.

It was developed with support from funding partners among them the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Generation Foundation, Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Emmanuel Faber as an individual donor.

Others are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation.