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27 Feb. 2019 | Comments (0)

Climate change and waste are among the most pressing environmental issues facing our planet and society. The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity, and have a clearly defined goal for each of these.

However, an analysis of corporate sustainability reporting by The Conference Board suggests there is significant room for improving reporting on several of the issues set forth by the SDGs.  

 

Few companies are acting at a strategic level to address climate change

Across Europe, only 21 percent of sample companies disclose their GHG emissions whilst only 18 percent of sample companies report having a climate change strategy. The picture might look bleaker if we exclude disclosure rates of companies in the UK (78 percent) and France (34 percent). The average GHG emissions reporting for the rest of Europe comes down to 11 percent.

 

The situation is no different when it comes waste and resource use

Across Europe although approx. 25 percent of sample companies report having a waste management policy, only 11 percent report on the actual volume of waste recycled in their operations. The figure below describes the waste and resource use disclosure (by country in Europe).

                    Source: The Conference Board/Bloomberg. 2018

 

Given the scale and severity of the climate change and resource scarcity challenge, the response will be of growing importance in the future. The real challenge now and for the coming years is to get companies who haven’t engaged in sustainability yet to consider and embark on this sustainable-business journey. Further, companies who have mature sustainability programs need to reflect on how they can evolve their program to achieve maximum sustainability impact.

  • About the Author: Anuj Saush

    Anuj Saush

    Anu is a senior sustainability researcher in The Conference Board Corporate Leadership practice and has over 15 years of sustainability experience working across the private, public and third-sector. …

    Full Bio | More from Anuj Saush

     

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