This assignment provides an opportunity for students to research companies’ sustainability efforts and understand how these efforts relate to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
In 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations (UN) unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), which identified 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2030 Agenda called on all stakeholders (including government, the private sector, civil society, and others) to work together to achieve the SDGs. This included a call for businesses to “apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges.” While a growing number of companies measure and disclose their sustainability performance (e.g., in their sustainability reports), not all companies relate this performance to the SDGs. Diverse stakeholders increasingly want to know if companies are making a meaningful contribution towards SDG achievement.
Each SDG has a set of targets and indicators. For example, SDG 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns,” has 11 targets (summarized below) to be achieved by 2030. Progress toward target achievement is measured using 13 indicators.
Your task is to critically analyse and compare the contribution of two companies to SDG achievement.
- Select two companies must are competitors, i.e., in the same industry.
- Select a specific SDG target to assess.
- Use at least one perspective presented in this course to support your comparison. Examples include sustainable leadership, sustainability reporting and metrics, supply chain transparency, or life cycle assessment.
Write a 1,500 word summary of your comparison. Your comparison should:
- Identify the companies and SDG target you are assessing.
- Explain the importance of the target for the industry that the companies are in.
- Describe your approach for assessing and comparing their contribution to the SDG target.
- Assess and compare the contribution of the companies to the SDG target. Tables that show sideby-side comparison are often effective ways to communicate this information.
- Explain the conclusions you have made based on your findings.
The following resources will help you in completing this assignment:
- Course materials
- Information about the SDGs, for example:
- Information about company engagement with SDGs, for example:
- Information about the companies that is relevant to the SDG target (e.g., information from the companies’ sustainability reports)
This assignment provides students with an opportunity to:
- Gain a deeper understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Consider how corporate contributions to the SDGs can be assessed and compared.
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