12 trillion dollars. 380 million jobs. 10% of global GDP in 2030. That is the opportunity the private sector could tap into by contributing to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Despite clear advantages, too few are effectively putting their money where their mouth is. The main reason? Most companies struggle to align their SDG commitments and ESG reporting.
That is where a global provider of audit and verification services steps in, and mandated Ksapa to provide deep and extensive ESG expertise to aggregate audit protocols and data and build SDG related performance indicators for Fortune 500 Top Executives.
The goal is for Fortune 500 companies to access a reliable and transparent solution to manage their sustainability priorities. This way, they can indeed protect their brand, mitigate non-financial risks, design action plans based on reliable and available indicators and communicate robust sustainability commitments.
To that very end, Ksapa was approached for guidance, following 3 guiding principles:
- Structure a ready-to-use methodology to identify priority management areas for each client, through cross-referencing strategic Sustainability Management Domains and SDG requirements.
- Benchmark data collection processes linked to existing internal audits to adapt auditing formalism and questions against SDG reporting requirements.
- Specify a process for implementing Key Sustainability Performance Indicators as part of the client’s business intelligence tool.
how did we proceed
SDG reporting increased from 39% in 2017 to 69% in 2020 among 5,200 leading companies in 52 countries. SDG commitments are equally ubiquitous, posing the question of transparency, comparability and accountability.
- A necessary first step to kickstart the conversation on ESG/SDG reporting entailed Ksapa would map the ecosystem (e.g. specialized auditing firms, analysts, international benchmarks). The team paid particular attention to non-financial ratings their clients might already have. This allows our client help corporate clients take stock of preexisting efforts before outlining additional priorities for SDG action.
- Amid a nebula of likeminded regulatory and science-based initiatives, Ksapa worked with our client to structure a ready-to-use SDG reporting methodology. This way, teams could identify priority management areas for each client, through cross-referencing industry and sectors-specific issues as per the SASB Materiality Map and SDG requirements.
- Having prioritized 7 cross-sector high-priority management issues, Ksapa also delved into 10 management sub-categories and 6 priority SDG relevant to the clientele. The team went on to benchmark data collection processes linked to our client’s audits. This would allow operational teams to adapt auditing formalism and questions against SDG reporting requirements. Best practices were indeed documented to yield a comprehensive catalog of SDG key performance indicators. To that end, Ksapa shared thematic and sectoral expert input instrumental to launching a dashboard for corporate sustainability reporting.
- The team mobilized by Ksapa revolved around a sustainability consultant with digital expertise, so that Ksapa could support pilot roll-out and engage internal experts and key suppliers. Our specification efforts outlined dependencies between the selected KPI and the corresponding data, as well as supporting calculation and aggregation methods.
Having streamlined its understanding of SDG stakes, the challenge is now to roll-out the solution commercially. In times of profound uncertainty and corollary cost-cutting such as ours, compliance and consistency are in fact key to regulatory compliance and long-term value creation… for both our client and its customers.