“The SDGs present an opportunity for business-led solutions and technologies to be developed and implemented to address the world’s biggest sustainable development challenges,” As noted in the SDG Compass. But if neither the corporate nor its capital providers can accurately and easily interpret information from Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, is ESG reporting really supporting the SDG agenda?

Current reporting guidelines, initiatives and best practice often provide disclosure suggestions, rather than guidance on how to interpret the report content. This is where the SDG agenda can offer a valuable new framework, a reference for the interpretation of the content of ESG reporting.

This research paper provides relevant inputs into UNCTAD’s work by exploring current reporting practices, from an empirical perspective by describing the reporting practices of the global top 100 listed companies, the use of ESG indicators by ESG rating agencies and considering overarching data principles needed in order to collect comparable and useful data.

You can find the UNCTAD/ISAR paper here