Exclusive insight from the Ethical Corporation State of Responsible Business Report

The Global Goals (SDGs), launched in September 2015, have galvanized governments, business, NGOs and others on a common path to create a more sustainable world.

A recent study by Accenture and UN Global Compact found that 87% of CEOs believe the SDGs provide an opportunity to rethink approaches to sustainable value creation.

The question is which ones are businesses looking to engage in? There's 17 goals, that all need to be met, but there's a risk that some will garner more action than others. From our research with our community, we found that to be the case:

As you can see the top 3 SDGs identified by our community were:

  • SDG 13 – Climate action with 63% of responses

  • SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth at 52% and finally

  • SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production with 51% of responses

This could be expected. All three of these top-cited goals are directly impacted by business, and it could be argued that all are material to businesses, no matter their sector or industry.

A slight concern is the lack of engagement on life below water, life on land, no poverty and zero hunger - some would consider these bigger and more pressing global goals. It might be a case that many are still working out how they can make a positive impact on these goals. Another explanation could be that these goals are so large in scope that companies are looking for ideas and ways to collaborate to help achieve these goals.

Our report also highlights the level of engagement across different regions:


As you’ll see here the highest level engagement is currently in Asia Pacific, with 54% of respondents stating they’re looking to engage in the SDGs

We then asked those that responded yes to state which SDGs they were looking to engage in.


This map identifies which SDG is being prioritised in each region.

This obviously reflects the variety of developmental priorities and needs in different parts of the world. What I believe will be interesting to track over the coming months and years is what companies are reporting on, and seeing whether it correlates with this map.

The above graphs are just a small selection of those published in our State of Responsible Business Report 2016. The report includes 50 pages of analysis and trends identified by over 2,000 members of the Ethical Corporation community. To get access to the report simply click here 

SDGs  sorb  sustainable development goals 

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