Forum Two: Scoping a Vision

Session 1
Nov 14 '19 9:25am–Nov 14 '19, 11:10am GMT


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Summary of Discussion

Follow along here for live updates summarizing the conversation.

Thinking about accountability and monitoring – how do we go about making sure that what gets agreed in new partnerships, innovations and the SDGs gets implemented?

  • Partnerships require attention and patience to develop right collaboration culture
  • How to get useful improvement data out of compliance processes e.g. WBA and the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark for downstream companies
  • Multi-stakeholder platform to audit implementation and impact - similar to ISO role in standard setting.
  • SDGs are too broad. Accounting and implementation needs to be specific
  • Engagement with academics prior to implementation to understand impact
  • Link CEO performance on SDGs to bonuses. 
  • Data drives value. Open source data, networking and sustainbility data blockchain

How can businesses unlock sustainable investment opportunities through new forms of reporting?

  • Connecting business/financial success to social/environmental success
  • Advertising success for dual benefit to investors and society
  • Using impact investor criteria as new indicators of success for business
  • Sector and size-defined rules that are accepted at international level
  • Need to go back to basics and perfect SMART targets before new reporting innovations
  • SDG focused bonds not aligned in terms of reporting or outcomes. Need clear definitions of what is sustainable
  • Strategic plans that embed and prioritise SDGs into new inclusive and innovative business models

How can the development of business models be scaled for broader impact?

  • Expertise of sustainable development necessary at executive level
  • Business practice enshrined in industry standards
  • Flexible business models that can be customised depending on size, market and sector
  • Focus on integrated reporting over quarterly reporting
  • For larger companies, to focus on externalities relating to SDGs - and then finding relevant partners for support
  • Financial incentives to shift to alternative suppliers
  • Public procurement: rating for sustainable enterprises
  • Scaling requires fast innovation into green tech. Government subsidies away from fossil fuels
  • Collaboration of smaller sustainable companies with multinationals has reputation effect in favour of MNCs
  • Financial system to only focus on sustainable investments
  • Examples:
    • Cleanstar Mozambique

How can more impactful and relevant industry partnerships be encouraged to deliver on the SDGs? Please share examples of multi-sector coalitions with common goals.

  • Change in leadership style to a more feminine style of leadership focused on collaboration
  • Role of industry associations  important to drive SDG fulfilment, similar to being signatory of the PRI. But are they ready to run sustainability themes without looking internally first?
  • Plastics is an issue that has seen NGO and businesses working together towards common goal. Need to identify issues like this
  • Increasing consumer awareness
  • Finding a balance across the SDGs e.g. how to balance the roles of plastics and food waste
  • Examples
    • WBCSD
    • BCSD
    • Consumer Goods Forum (not SDG)
    • Irish Tech Goes Carbon Neutral 2020
    • Bangladesh Accord Foundation
    • Responsible Media Forum
    • Ocean Cleanup
    • Alliance to End Plastic Waste
    • New Plastics Economy

What can be done to help encourage more collaboration between business and government to achieve the SDGs?

  • Increased transparency and cross-sector access to data
  • SDG11 (sustainable cities and communities) is a good example of business and government working together for sustainable development
  • Business should take the lead role in developing economies
  • Government Climate Action plans to include business stakeholders
  • Government to better define national SDG metrics and to include private sector metrics e.g. around SDG12
  • Sustainable Development Forum in Italy an upcoming example of business-government collaboration
  • Policy and legislation to encourage business
  • State-owned business should be best-practice
  • Public procurement to have SDG focus e.g. Social Return metrics in the Netherlands
  • Top-down and bottom-up incentives (eg: taxes or financing mechanisms)

What can be done to make that link so that reporting is more meaningful?

  • Involvement at board-level is necessary to incorporate the SDGs into business strategy
  • Standardising SDG reporting to allow for industry-level collaboration
  • Connecting SDGs to material topics and stakeholders, and making sure KPIs are relevant to economic and business strategy
  • Sustainability and reporting strategy for SMEs
  • An audit system for the SDGs
  • There are too many reporting frameworks. Need mapping of the overlap between the frameworks 


1 of 4
Good reporting on the SDGs needs to outline, disclose or report on:
Method/process used (identifying/prioritizing SDGs)
SMART SDG-related performance goals
Impact quantification methodologies
SDG triggered innovations
105 votes
Next Poll »
Successful multi-sector coalitions depend on:
Clear business targets
Complementary goals
Common language
Access to funding
Value-added (resources/capabilities)
Access to new markets
Growth opportunities
Scalable/transformative impact
Building trust
Effective practices/strong project management
80 votes
Next Poll »
Business models that drive action on the SDGs require:
Responsive/responsible leadership
Multi-level governance
Horizontal coordination (dynamization)
Action at regional levels
Disruptive innovation
Unlocking economic opportunities
Innovative perspectives/ideas
Shape globalisation
65 votes
Next Poll »
There are no clearly identified business indicators on SDG 17. What indicators are most suitable to measure business contributions to this goal?
Number of partnerships
Number of science / technology cooperation agreements
Amount of funding for technology / knowledge transfer
Funding for financial and technical assistance
Transparency around taxes paid
Funding contributed to SDG-linked projects
Dollars invested in Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
Amount of funding committed to PPPs and civil society partnerships
46 votes
Next Poll »

Meet our Guest Contributors

Carol Adams
Professor of Accounting
University of Durham
Josh Bayly
Global Sustainability Strat...
David D'Hollander
Associate Manager, Policy a...
ISEAL Alliance
Nicoletta Dante
Head Sustainability Plannin...
Enel Green Power
Juliette Gaussem
Sustainability Reporting Ma...
Martin Kruse
Futurist & Senior Advis...
Copenhagen Institute for Fu...
Marina Migliorato
Head Sustainability Stakeho...
Tim Mohin
Chief Executive
Peter Paul Van de Wijs
Chief External Affairs Offi...

Session Moderator

Caroline Holme
Director, GlobeScan
United Kingdom


Martin Kruse
Link CEO performance on SDG's to bonus, then the company is...
David D'Holland...
Corporate sustainability reporting often falls short of ide...
Caroline Holme
Welcome and thank you for joining this second collaboration...
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