Adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as transitioning to sustainable development, have emerged as major global issues in recent years. Investors are increasingly focused on sustainability investing, as evidenced by an increase in total assets and inflows into sustainability-linked funds.
Following the success of the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which has been signed by 193 countries. The SDGs are made up of 17 goals and 169 targets, such as eradicating poverty and hunger, combating climate change, promoting decent work and growth, and building sustainable cities and communities. Aligning with the SDGs is the next big step for many businesses to make a positive impact as an organisation and attract investment dollars from increasingly climate-conscious investors.
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute the backbone of the NRBCs Principles; each of the 9 Principles that form the basic foundation of BRSR reporting has been aligned with the 17 SDGs that define the world we desire. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) apply to all countries and aim to ensure that no one is left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was accepted by all UN Member States in 2015. They provide a shared roadmap for peace and prosperity for people and the planet today and in the future. SDGs are a valuable source of papers for learning about the NGRBC Principles and their fundamental parts, as well as providing clarity on various disclosures under the BRSR.
SDGs are being incorporated into corporate strategies:
The recent rise in global commitments and initiatives for sustainable development, such as the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance’s commitment to investing SDGs and reinforcing SDG actions across their portfolios, now requires companies to run the SDG assessment for their business and develop a response strategy. According to a KPMG study on SDG reporting in 2018, 84 percent of top companies have identified the SDGs that are most relevant to their business.
SDGs are also becoming more important to investors, as they represent important ESG perspectives that investors consider as part of their fiduciary duty. There is a compelling business case for investing in companies that are aligned with the SDGs, which have been shown to provide consistent returns to investors by creating a competitive advantage for their portfolio.
SDGs serve as a universal framework for businesses to communicate performance, set targets and actions, engage with various stakeholders, including investors, and gain access to new market opportunities. The framework fosters collaboration to solve the world’s most challenging tasks in sustainability. Companies that wish to pursue SDGs
and the benefits they bring should follow a series of steps in order to maximize the opportunity.
The underlying intent of the BRSR can be described as the seamless alignment of various regulatory frameworks with the company's long-term objectives and sustainability goals, which are critical requirements for various stakeholders' decision-making processes. The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Sustainability aspects of BRSR have been covered.
At the outset, the company must provide a statement highlighting ESG-related challenges, goals, and accomplishments. Companies will be required to identify the potential risks and opportunities that they will face on their journey to becoming a socially, environmentally conscious, and well-governed organisation.
We can acknowledge that the SDGs may necessitate a shift in mindset. The objectives are complex and interconnected, and their success is likely to rely on new collaborations between business, governments, and civil society. However, useful tools are emerging to help businesses better understand how they can contribute to the SDGs in a holistic manner. We believe that the SDGs provide a roadmap for businesses to engage with internal and external stakeholders on how to develop sustainable strategies that can transform not only their business models, products, and services, but also the communities in which they operate.