The private sector’s progress with sustainability has been very significant in recent years, but despite the intensification of Spanish companies’ actions in SDGs, it is important to continue to make progress in certain aspects in order to be able to overcome the challenges established by the 2030 Agenda. This is one of the main conclusions drawn from the report ‘Comunicando el progreso 2019. La integración de los ODS y los Diez Principios en las empresas españolas’, a document that studies the progress of the local network Spanish members in actions related to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. This information is based on the analysis of the sustainability reports of IBEX35 companies and the data of the Spanish companies extracted from the annual Survey carried out by the United Nations Global Compact.
Thus, the indicators show that Spanish companies are increasingly committed to the 2030 Agenda. Specifically, 86% of the companies in the stock market index are already committed to SDGs, an increase of 6 points compared to 2018. For their part, local network Spanish members have also increased this commitment by 7 points compared to the previous year, reaching 66%.
Despite the strong commitment of business, it is important to make further progress on other issues such as setting measurable and quantifiable targets around SDGs. In this regard, the remarkable figures for commitment to the 2030 Agenda contrast with the measurement, which is only reported by 7 of the 35 companies in the stock index (20%). As for local network Spanish members, a significant gap can also be observed in this step. Only 17% of these companies claim to have established quantifiable public commitments, a figure that remains stable in comparison with the previous year.
On this aspect, the Executive Director of the Global Compact Network Spain, Cristina Sánchez, stated that ‘although the positioning of companies as actors who commit to contributing to the SDGs is clear, few of them have yet taken the step of establishing specific commitments to measure and evaluate this contribution. This is a key parameter because only in this way will it be possible to measure the main advances, evaluating their degree of achievement on a regular basis. We are at the beginning of the new decade and it is decisive that Spanish companies take this step if we want to reach 2030 with the homework done’.
On the other hand, the report analyzes the SDGs mostly worked by the local network Spanish members, being these the SDG 3 (Good health and Well-being), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG (9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure). As for the IBEX35, it presents a similar classification to that of other years, with SDG 8, SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 9 as the priority ones within its projects and actions.
The publication also reviews the situation of companies in the face of the integration of the Ten Principles of the Global Compact, among which great progress has been made in the implementation of certain policies, especially in the area of the environment. In contrast, the least worked area is the fight against corruption.
Last but not least, the publication focuses on the need for action in 2020 on two specific SDGs: SDG 5, Gender Equality, and SDG 13, Climate Action. In this regard, it is noteworthy that 79% of the local network Spanish members indicate that gender equality is addressed in company policies. About climate change, stands out that 80% of these companies integrate climate change into the company’s risk management, an increase of 22% compared to 2018.