World Benchmarking Alliance
Corporate Sustainability Performance
While many of the world’s leading companies are taking clear action to align their business models with the SDGs, information and analysis of corporate sustainability performance is often hard to access or compare. Thus, investors, civil society, governments and consumers have no common mechanism through which to credit leading companies. Companies’ efforts – or lack thereof – often go unrecognized, reducing incentives to improve sustainability performance and making it difficult to gauge industry leaders.
A powerful and potentially transformative way to achieve this is to build on existing efforts and use corporate benchmarks to measure and compare performance of companies on the SDGs. This idea is based on a recommendation outlined in the BSDC’s flagship report about the need for such benchmarks to provide stakeholders with information they can use to inform investment and other economic decisions, increase transparency and facilitate trust between sectors, help track and compare corporate sustainability performance. Benchmarks also identify strategic gaps and market opportunities, and ultimately catalyze action and accelerate SDG delivery. The report outlined a $12 trillion economic opportunity, and the creation of 380 million jobs by 2030, for companies that pursue sustainable and inclusive business models.
Therefore, Aviva, the UN Foundation, BSDC, and Index Initiative are exploring the concept of establishing the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA).
In our vision of a sustainable future, everyone can access information on how companies perform on sustainability issues, enabling investors, civil society, governments, and individuals to exert their full influence to improve corporate sustainability performance.
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.
Benchmarking companies drives change. Free, publicly available corporate sustainability benchmarks aligned with the SDGs raise awareness and promote a race to the top.
Benchmarks provide a powerful incentive for companies to improve their sustainability performance and help to track progress, improve understanding and promote dialogue.
Benchmarks are designed through a multi-stakeholder process to ensure they reflect societal expectations.
WBA’s mission is to provide everyone with access to information that indicates how companies are contributing to the SDGs.
It will do so by developing, funding, housing and safeguarding free and publicly available corporate sustainability benchmarks that rank companies on their sustainability performance and contribution to achieving the SDGs.
The WBA is also expected to play a role in helping to leverage and harmonize the incoming wave of SDG-related monitoring initiatives that are currently being developed.