Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, the United Nations adopted a total of 17 SDGs which were specified in 169 individual provisions. The implementation target year for these is 2030. The SDGs characterise the sustainability debate at national and international levels. As a global goals system, the SDGs provide a common language and a compass for the challenges of the 21st century.

The innovation and investment power of business will also play a central role in the attainment of the SDGs. To realise this potential, however, a broad social consensus is necessary. The SDGs do not simply formulate challenges, for which the participation of enterprises is essential – they also create massive potential for the economy and new scope, both of which can be opened up by sustainable and responsible corporate governance.

The SDG Compass & Good Practices

  • Step 1 Understand SDGs (sustainable development goals)

    Step 1 Understand SDGs (sustainable development goals)

    Global risks and challenges are created by the global trends of population growth, distribution of wealth, consumption of resources and climate change. The SDGs establish clear goals at global, regional and local levels to counteract the greatest of these risks. These global changes initially exert enormous pressure on companies to adapt – however, adapting can also provide completely new fields of action and opportunities. The megatrends give companies numerous possibilities to position themselves and to contribute to sustainable development. The SDGs are not simply a political framework – they offer approaches for aligning corporate actions along the SDGs.

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  • Steps 2 and 3 Define priorities and set goals

    Steps 2 and 3 Define priorities and set goals

    After companies have made themselves familiar with the SDGs in Step 1, Steps 2 and 3 of the SDG Compass deal with the identification of the individual action priorities of the companies and giving these priorities goals.

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  • Step 4 Integration of the SDGs into the corporate strategy

    Step 4 Integration of the SDGs into the corporate strategy

    To make the entry into the implementation of the SDGs easier for companies, the UN Global Compact and several of its partners have jointly developed various tools such as the ‘SDG Compass’ and the ‘SDG Industry Matrix’. Objective of the ‘SDG Industry Matrix’ is to provide information about measures for the attainment of the sustainable development goals and to encourage ideas on the implementation. The matrix was created in the knowledge that the opportunities for companies to contribute to a sustainable development vary from industry to industry, so it contains several publications with examples of the best and most effective possibilities for implementing the SDGs from specific industry perspectives.

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  • Step 5 SDG Reporting

    Step 5 SDG Reporting

    Classic sustainability reporting cannot be transferred to SDG reporting on a one-to-one basis. To do this, transfer steps are necessary. The ‘SDG Compass’ provides valuable orientation in this respect, because it encourages companies to continue to report in accordance with the principles of existing standards such as GRI, but it also gives additional tips on SDG-specific reporting.

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Support through the DGCN

The German Global Compact Network proactively promotes the Agenda 2030. This makes sense, since the Agenda is oriented on the ten principles of the UN Global Compact. In addition to the proven learning formats, such as webinars, the challenges of the SDGs are also incorporated into the daily work of the DGCN.

Sustainability goals act as a compass for new business opportunities in the economy, as does the central principle of the Global Compact ‘Act Responsibly, Do No Harm’. The integration of the SDGs into business activities thus makes it possible for an individual company to highlight its ‘business case’. In addition to this, DGCN expects the companies to tackle the potential negative effects of their business activities, since the ten principles are set down in the SDGs as an integral part of a sustainable development.

As the largest global CSR initiative, the UNGC promotes the development of a sustainable future with responsible corporate governance.


Marcel Engel

Marcel Engel

+ 49 (0)30 7261 4 321

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