Source: Small Island Developing States
12 December 2018: The Governance & Accountability Institute has published a study examining over 1,300 corporate sustainability reports submitted to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The analysis ranks 91 areas of disclosure in terms of their materiality to companies in 40 sectors, then links those areas to the 169 SDG targets to determine which areas and targets are the most important within each sector.
The publication titled, ‘Sector Study on Sustainability Materiality of the SDG Targets and GRI Indicators,’ aims to provide a starting point for discussion and planning around analyzing and determining the sector-specific materiality of the SDG targets and GRI indicators / disclosure topics. “Materiality” refers to the importance of an issue to a company or industry. As a legal concept, it is a measure or threshold above which missing or incorrect information, particularly in financial statements, is considered to have an impact on decision making.
An all-sector overview report outlines the study’s methodology, various uses, and potential for further company- and sector-specific analysis. The authors review the 1,387 reports published between March 2016 and March 2017 in accordance with GRI’s G4 guidelines. GRI has since adopted a common set of standards, to which the report maps and translates the previous G4 areas of disclosure.
The study is divided into sector-specific publications, such as: aerospace and defense; mining; pharmaceuticals; and travel & leisure. Each sector report lists the companies whose reports were analyzed, then ranks the most important SDG targets and GRI indicators using a standardized scoring system. Each rank notes the corresponding SDG, target, overarching business theme, relevant GRI G4 indicator, and linked GRI Standard Disclosure, and provides a description of the GRI indicator.
The reports also provide color-coded heatmaps to identify the most important areas. The overview report notes which SDGs are most important to which sectors, and which sectors are most commonly reporting on which SDGs. [Publication: Sector Study on Sustainability Materiality of the SDG Targets & GRI Indicators] [Business Wire News Release]