July 14, 2021 /3BL Media/ - An online platform in Colombia is making it easier for companies to assess how they are contributing towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Launched, with backing from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the National Planning Department (DNP) of Colombia, and the UN Development Program, the SDG Corporate Tracker Colombia has so far been used by 480 businesses.
The tracker was developed to support Colombia Voluntary National Review – the annual stock-take by countries on SDGs progress that is presented as part of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which is currently underway.
The Tracker captures the contribution of the private sector to the SDGs by providing:
- Data analysis by sector, size and region to map business progress towards sustainable development;
- The identification of best practices that companies can incorporate in their operations;
- Access to information that informs decision making for the development of public policy.
Colombian investors call for improved ESG reporting
Meanwhile, 10 major investors in Colombia have signed a pledge that calls for businesses to publicly disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG) information. Organized by UN-PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment), it sets out that companies should:
- Report on ESG performance using GRI’s internationally recognized standards, complemented by SASB reporting;
- Deepen climate change reporting, in line with CDP disclosure and the TCFD recommendations;
- Use audit processes that ensure transparency and reliability;
- Regularly communicate ESG data in their engagement with investors.
The agreement has been signed by Acciones & Valores, Protección, Credicorp, Capital Corfincolombiana, Funacion WWB, Grupo Bancocolombia, Javeriana, Porvenir, Sura Investment Management, and Skandia.
Andrea Pradilla, Head of GRI Regional Hub Hispanic America, said:
“The private sector plays a key role in driving the sustainable development agenda, and it is essential for businesses and policymakers to be able to measure their progress. Through the SDG Corporate Tracker and its alignment with the GRI Standards, companies in Colombia can now evaluate their contributions to the SDGs and develop strategies to improve their sustainability efforts.
The pledge by investors calling for companies to report on ESG issues is highly significant, as it signals the importance that key stakeholders place on responsible business practices. This will encourage more Colombian companies to be transparent about their sustainable development impacts, as supported by the SDG Corporate tracker.”
The Tracker uses an online questionnaire that connects with the disclosures in the GRI Standards, collecting relevant business data based on the three pillars of sustainability - social, economic, and environmental. A similar tool has also launched in Peru, while there are plans to scale it to other countries.
The Colombia investor pledge was signed at the conclusion of the 4thTask Force de Inversión Responsable Summit (held 29 June to 1 July), which was delivered with support from the Swiss Confederation’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
GRI provides organizations with free resources and tools on how to integrate the SDGs into their sustainability reporting. Latest publications include a new version of Linking the SDGs and the GRI Standards and Using Corporate Reporting to Strengthen the SDGs - a set of recommendations for policy makers.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the independent, international organization that helps businesses and other organizations take responsibility for their impacts, by providing the global common language to report those impacts. The GRI Standards are developed through a multi-stakeholder process and provided as a free public good.
GRI is headquartered in the Netherlands and has a network of seven regional offices around the world, including a Hispanic America Hub that is based in Bogota, Colombia.
Tweet me: A #SDGs Tracker has launched in #Colombia with support from @GRI_Secretariat, which is helping businesses and policymakers assess the corporate contribution towards achieving the countries efforts in support of sustainable development. Find out more: https://bit.ly/3yJIXai
KEYWORDS: High-Level Political Forum, HLPF, GRI, SDGs, ESG, GRI Standards, sustainability reporting