Project examines sustainability impact on business reporting

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The Global Reporting Initiative, a sustainability reporting standard-setter, has begun a project to see how the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals can influence business reporting and the adoption of new partnerships and business models.

The GRI has teamed up with global power company Enel to explore how the private sector can actively contribute to the SDGs, and what the role of reporting and partnerships is in supporting this process. The project will look at how to strengthen the role of reporting, to enhance sustainable business practices and stimulate collaboration.

During the initial phase of the project, businesses, policymakers, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders will share their perspectives on the current state of sustainability reporting and help develop a plan for how companies and governments can work together.

GlobeScan, a strategic consulting firm, has set an online collaboration space and will host live public forums on Oct. 8 and Nov. 14 featuring a panel convened by GRI and Enel. Interested parties can sign up to participate at

In the second phase, the outcomes of the online forums will be discussed in regional dialogues that will take place next year. Participants will explore how the lessons around effective business models and partnerships can be turned into concrete actions.

“From the inception of the SDGs, GRI has championed the participation of the private sector in measuring and achieving progress,” said GRI chief executive Tim Mohin in a statement. “And it’s clear that, by engaging in SDG reporting and embedding this within corporate disclosures, businesses can change their ways of working through embracing sustainable practices.”

Enel sees advantages in the project. “The integration of SDGs into Enel’s strategy is key to fostering our group’s growth while accelerating sustainable development where we operate and promoting the creation of value to be shared with all the stakeholders we work with, from local communities, to employees, suppliers and investors,” stated Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s head of innovation and sustainability. "The implementation of SDG 17, which includes new forms of partnerships, helps create long-term value, in line with our ‘open Innovability’ vision.”

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