Sustainability Goals


Set sustainability goals: develop organisational and business unit goals and targets that would enable operating in a way that adheres to environmental limits and enhances social foundations.


To what extent have you set organisational and business unit goals and targets that address environmental limits and enhance social foundations?

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The Road to Context

Our corporate partners wanted to understand how to factor social and ecological limits into their core strategy and goal-setting processes. They needed to make sense of the different frameworks and tools emerging to support a contextual view and they wanted to know what early leaders were doing to address context.

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Science Based Targets

Specifically focused on GHG emission reduction goals, the Science Based Targets initiative aims to encourage companies to develop their GHG emission goals based on the latest climate science. This website offers resources, cases, and support to develop a science-based carbon goal.

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Future-Fit Business Benchmark

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark is a free open-source tool grounded in systems science, and is designed to help companies assess where they are relative to necessary levels of environmental and social performance.

The Benchmark includes an Action Guide and Methodology Guide that outline categories of positive environmental and social impacts and help companies articulate and quantify their unique contributions in a consistent framing (Positive Pursuits). It also describes areas of environmental and social footprint that represent risk areas to businesses and external stakeholders until they are addressed (Break-Even Goals).

The Benchmark guidance also aligns with the UN SDGs. By using Future-Fit's guidance and metrics, companies can clearly understand and credibly communicate their contribution to the SDGs.

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CEO Guides

The WBCSD has published a number of CEO Guides to provide a high-level overview on the risks and opportunities of corporate sustainability issues. These guides focus on topics such as human rights, water, climate-related financial disclosures, the SDGs, climate action, and the circular economy, and will support executives at your company with understanding key themes and trends, aligning business strategy with critical societal and environmental agendas, and developing and implementing meaningful, credible goals.

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SDG Compass

The SDG Compass aims to provide guidance to companies to help align their strategies and measure their contributions to SDGs. This guide, Step 3 (setting goals), focuses on setting specific, measurable, and time-bound corporate sustainability goals across the organisation.

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Sustainable Development Goals Interactive Tool

IISD has developed a free interactive tool that directs users to SDG-related publications by region or goal. This tool provides insight into how the SDGs impact companies and communities around the world, and may be of particular use for companies with an international scope or those interested in entering new markets.

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Next Generation Sustainability Targets: Toward Big, Context-Based Goals

"It is logical, it’s rational, it demands some thought, it demands analysis, and to us it’s the smart way of setting goals." This is Hector Rodriguez, Senior Director of Global EH&S at Biogen Idec, speaking about how his organization began setting goals for reducing the company’s water so that it would no longer exceed the capacity of local watersheds. This free eBook from Sustainable Brands on context-based goal setting contains a host of other conversations and interviews with thought leaders focused around what is required to develop smart sustainable goals.

Targeting Value: Setting, Tracking & Integrating High-Impact Sustainability Goals cover

Targeting Value: Setting, Tracking & Integrating High-Impact Sustainability Goals

This comprehensive report from SustainAbility provides clear insights on the value of setting, pursuing, achieving, and reporting on sustainability goals. The report explores current best practices for ensuring goals deliver maximum business value and broader societal impact, explains the value of context-based goals, identifies key barriers to setting high-impact goals, and offers methods for overcoming them.

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The Reporting Exchange

Developed by WBCSD, the Reporting Exchange is a free online platform that connects you to reliable, comparable information on sustainability reporting requirements and resources. The platform provides detailed, up-to-date coverage from 60 countries and across dozens of sectors, and will help change agents, investors, and leaders within your company who want relevant resources for comparing, preparing, and delivering corporate sustainability reports. The platform's global database contains mandatory and voluntary reporting requirements, sustainability ratings, rankings, and indexes, and allows you to connect, share, and track relevant updates.

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Set Your Sustainability Goals to Match the Problem

Andrew Winston, author of The Big Pivot, discusses the importance of setting long-term, science-based goals that will contribute to overcoming the challenges of climate change. Winston explains that goal-setting needs to become more firmly based on reality and science. For a deeper dive into the pivot framework and why incremental goals won't cut it, read Winston’s article in Harvard Business Review, called Resilience in a Hotter World.

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