Real Leaders

How to Report on the SDGs: What Good Looks Like and Why It Matters

Four in ten of the world’s largest companies reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their corporate reporting. But there is not yet an established process, benchmark or standard for companies to follow when reporting on their SDG-related activities. Many companies are unsure how to report on the SDGs, where to start and what good SDG reporting looks like.

KPMG’s study aims to help by proposing quality criteria for SDG reporting which readers can use as a guide. The KPMG report also helps readers benchmark their own organization’s reporting against global leaders by analyzing SDG reporting from the world’s 250 largest companies.

The study also includes case studies of several companies that are leading the field in SDG reporting and offers tips and advice from their reporting professionals.

This study will be valuable to sustainability, corporate responsibility and communications professionals with responsibility for their organization’s SDG reporting. Investors, asset managers and ratings agencies with an interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) information may also find this study helpful to understand what information they should be looking for and requesting from the companies they invest in.


Readers will learn:

  • What good SDG reporting looks like
  • How the world’s largest companies are performing
  • Which companies are doing it well and what they can teach others

Key findings include:

  • Only one in ten leading companies has reported a business case for action on the SDGs or has set specific and SMART business performance targets related to the SDGs
  • The SDGs most commonly prioritized by businesses are Climate Action (SDG13), Decent Work & Economic Growth (SDG8) and Good Health & Wellbeing (SDG3)
  • The least commonly prioritized goals are Life on Land (SDG15), Zero Hunger (SDG2) and Life Below Water (SDG14)
  • Three quarters of companies that report on the SDGs discuss the impact their business has on the goals, but reporting is largely unbalanced. Most companies discuss their positive impacts but not the negative
  • Four in ten companies that report on the SDGs include the global goals in their CEO and or Chair’s message
  • Only one in five reporting companies reports on any of the 169 individual SDG targets set by the UN



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