Benchmarking Companies as a Driver for Change

We envisage a sustainable future, where everyone will be able to see how companies contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

Agreed upon by 193 countries in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a shared vision of the world we want by 2030. Collectively, the SDGs set one of the most ambitious yet achievable agendas the world has ever seen, with the ultimate aim to “leave no one behind” in their realization.

The SDGs cannot be achieved without the firm commitment of the private sector to work with government and civil society to come up with the solutions and investments needed to achieve them.

To this end, Aviva, the UN Foundation, BSDC, and Index Initiative are investigating the idea of establishing the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) to develop, fund, house and safeguard free, publicly available corporate sustainability benchmarks aligned with the SDGs.

The donors and founding partners of the WBA are launching a series of consultations, throughout 2017 and early 2018 aimed at gathering inputs and insights on the WBA’s objectives and governance structure, as well as identifying and prioritising critical intersections between industries and the SDGs.

About WBA Consultation phase

“I’m excited at the prospect of creating a strong alliance of stakeholders that will collectively shape and realise the World Benchmarking Alliance. I believe this will help to build momentum for what we call ‘cooperative globalisation’ at the Global Foundation – building an inclusive and sustainable future that realises the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals.”


Steve Howard

Secretary General, The Global Foundation

“Civil society, investors and governments need to collectively voice what we expect from industry. And then work together with industry to unlock the full potential of the private sector. Initiatives like the World Benchmarking Alliance enable us to embrace a more productive and sustainable approach that benefits all of us.”


Lilianne Ploumen

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands

“The ultimate goal is that all companies report on their contribution to the SDGs. This allows us to compare commitments and performance to our peers and shows us where we must improve.”


Paul Polman

CEO Unilever and Co-chair of the BSDC

“EAT is proud to be a strategic partner to the WBA consultations and supports the development of metrics and indicators capturing the full range of co-benefits of sustainable and healthy diets. Competition makes us faster, collaboration makes us better. The WBA aims to do both. By ranking companies based on their contribution to the SDGs, competitive benchmarking can be a powerful catalyst for change.”


Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen

Founder & President, EAT Foundation

“We need more businesses of all sizes and investors to embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Benchmarks can translate the SDGs into a business and innovation agenda, creating clarity on the unique role and abilities of companies to contribute to sustainable development in developing countries. Clarity on the role of business will equally demonstrate where we as governments must step up.”


Ulla Tørnæs

Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark

“Our clients expect us to meet investment objectives as well those of society over the long term. The efforts of the World Benchmarking Alliance will assist asset managers to achieve this alignment.”


Hendrik du Toit

CEO Investec Asset Management & BSDC Commissioner


“The world needs business and leaders to step up, speak out, and act on the defining challenges of our time – climate change, the inclusion of women as leaders & drivers of change, and genuine equality. Benchmarks can credit those wo do, and inspire others to act.”


Sam Mostyn

President Australian Council for International Development & BSDC Commissioner