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World Benchmarking Alliance
The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) seeks to generate a movement around increasing the private sector’s impact towards a sustainable future for all. In 2015, the United Nations developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help guide us. The WBA is now working to incentivise and accelerate companies’ efforts towards achieving these goals.
The private sector has a crucial role to play in advancing the SDGs, but to boost companies’ motivation, there needs to be real change in the way that their impact is measured. That’s why the WBA has set out to develop transformative benchmarks that will compare companies’ performance on the SDGs. The benchmarks will be backed by the best available science, while leveraging existing international norms and standards.
We are grounded in the aspiration that real progress can only be accomplished by working with others. The WBA will act as an independent, transparent body with a broad group of allies who will provide the WBA with the necessary support and credibility to be a successful driver of change.
The benchmarks will aim to empower all stakeholders, from consumers and investors to employees and business leaders, with key data and insights to encourage sustainable business practices across all sectors. The benchmarks’ methodologies will also be free to use and continually improved through an ongoing and open multi-stakeholder dialogue.
In our vision of a sustainable future, everyone can access information on how companies perform on sustainability issues.
This environment of enhanced transparency and understanding delivers a step change in the quality of multi-stakeholder engagement, critical for unlocking the private sector’s potential to maximize their contribution to the 2030 Agenda for the SDGs and targets.
Benchmarks provide an essential tool for measuring and comparing corporate performance on the SDGs.
They equip financial institutions, companies, governments, civil society and individuals with the information they need to exert their full influence and encourage others to do the same.
The Alliance brings together a broad, balanced group of stakeholders with SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals) at its core. Allies represent a large mix of voices aligned with the universality of the SDGs. These range from civil society and business networks, to financial institutions and multi-lateral organisations.
An inclusive Alliance is essential to the effectiveness of the WBA and in creating long-lasting impact.
Aviva is one of the world’s largest insurance and asset management companies, its history tracing back more than 300 years. It has operations in 16 markets around the world, but through its investment portfolio, Aviva’s reach extends to a broader and larger group of consumers. The company is a LEAD member of the Global Compact; a founding member of both the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative. It is also a frontrunner in responsible investments, using its influence to support more sustainable business and ultimately a more sustainable economy and society. Aviva is an active contributor and user of different corporate sustainability benchmarks, including a founding member of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. Aviva’s CEO Mark Wilson is a member of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) and is personally committed to driving forward the sustainable development agenda and the creation of the WBA.
The Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable, inclusive economy. Its flagship report Better Business, Better World, launched in January 2017, maps the economic prize for companies that align with the SDGs, and shows how to achieve them. The report includes the creation of SDGs benchmarks as one of the key recommendations. The Business Commission aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable and inclusive economy, if the UN Sustainable Development Goals are achieved. In its flagship report, Better Business, Better World, the Commission describes how business can contribute to delivering these goals. Chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, the Commission include 37 leaders from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations from around the world.p>
Index Initiative is a centre of expertise in benchmarking corporate performance against stakeholder expectations. It seeks to propel the use of benchmarks to engage and bring purpose and clarity on the role of companies in contributing to the SDGs closest to their core business. A non-profit based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Index Initiative’s research and benchmarks are free and accessible to all. Index Initiative will conduct the global consultation on the World Benchmarking Alliance.
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors.