New podcast series uncovers the true facts in SDG reporting

Despite the fact that the so-called ‘Decade of Action’ for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is currently in operation, we ask ourselves how can companies look beyond the processes and paperwork, to grasp in detail the ways their impacts and actions can assist or hinder the progress of the SDGs?

SDGs: The Rising Tide is a modern podcast series from GRI giving a detailed and expert review on SDGs have an impact on businesses, including the internal and external challenges. There are seventeen episodes, one for each SDG in turn, which will be broadcast every two weeks. A wide array of perspectives will be shared by corporate leaders, UN and international bodies, civil society and other stakeholders.

Episode 0, an introduction to the series: The Beginning – is now available. Bart Houlahan, co-founder of B Lab, and Peter Paul van de Wijs, GRI Chief External Affairs Officer, study the growing role of companies in contributing towards the 2030 Agenda. From their perspective, while the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic may impact the short-term progress of the SDGs, it is also changing the way businesses view sustainability.

Bart Houlahan states that there is a unwavering desire to not return to the way things were, but instead to find a new normal:

“We’ve had one of the largest economic shocks in the last century, which is undoubtedly affecting efforts to achieve the SDGs. However, there is increasing awareness that we need to restructure our economy around behavior change, cultural change and structural change, moving to a new concept of value.”

Peter Paul van de Wijs concurs that the focus has shifted, with sustainability impacts moving to the fore of business priorities:

“The pandemic has made companies realize that the realities in which they operate have changed, while stakeholders are increasingly demanding transparency on corporate actions to mitigate impacts and risks. Sustainability reporting helps companies future-proof and prepare for what comes next. This is a positive side-effect of the crisis – with companies better understanding their limitations, recognizing the need to look beyond financial impacts.”

The Rising Tide can also be accessed on SpotifyApple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. GRI thanks the Government of Sweden for supporting this project through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

Source: GRI