Tools for business

Here are some materials and tools developed on an international scale to improve your knowledge and strategic approach to SDGs.  

At international level, two important landmarks for the in-depth study of SDGs and non-financial reporting are the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative: 

  • UN Global Compact is an initiative created in 1999 with the aim of promoting the culture of corporate social responsibility on a global scale. Since its launch, the Global Compact has evolved into a network of governments, businesses, UN agencies, trade unions and civil society organisations. It is driven by the desire to promote a sustainable global economy which is respectful of human and labour rights, environmental protection and the fight against corruption.Businesses and companies that are members of the Global Compact are committed to sharing and applying a set of fundamental principles relating to human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and the fight against corruption.   
  • Global Reporting Initiative - GRI(GRI) is an independent international organisation, based in Amsterdam, established in 1997 with the aim of developing and promoting a methodology for the drafting of a document describing the economic, environmental and social impacts that a company generates through its activities. The main product of GRI is the Sustainability Reporting Standards, which are made available as a free public good. They have been developed continuously for over 20 years and represent the global best practice for reporting on economic, environmental and social issues. 

UN Global Compact and GRI, together with other entities, have developed a set of resources that guide companies through the various stages of approaching, understanding and integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their strategy and finally into sustainability reporting.   

In addition to these two important international realities, other organizations contribute to the development of useful tools. 


SDG Compass 

WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development), GRI, UN Global Compact have drawn up SDG Compass, a practical vademecum that guides companies in the various steps of the approach and integration of SDGs in their business strategies. It is supported by a constantly updated inventory of indicators and a series of online resources and tools for measuring impact. The steps proposed in the guide aim to ensure that sustainability is a result of the core business strategy.

SDG Guide: getting started with the SDGs 

This online guide provides guidance on how to approach 2030 Agenda  with reference to performance measurement, the launch of a multi-stakeholder dialogue, the definition of a path to outline the strategy for achieving SDGs.  The guide has been prepared by UN SDSN (Sustainable Development Solution Network), a global network promoted by the United Nations formed by stakeholders in the scientific and technological field (universities, research centres, etc.) that aims to identify practical solutions to promote and foster sustainable development.


SDG Action Manager: is a self-assessment questionnaire through which companies can find out which SDGs are the most important according to their profile and how to act. Through a dynamic self-assessment over time, it allows them to set goals, monitor improvements and share their impact with internal and external stakeholders.  This tool also integrates a B Impact Assessment, a management tool, used by over 50,000 companies worldwide, that helps companies assess their impact on various stakeholders, including their workers, community, customers and the environment. It provides a clear view of how activities, supply chain and business model can create a positive impact. SDG Action Manager is a tool of UGlobal Compact in collaboration with B Lab. 

Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs: A PrinciplesBased Approach:framework that is based on five “leadership qualities”, i.e. five qualities identified as relevant in the path towards achieving SDGs. The qualities are intentionality, ambition, consistency, collaboration and reliability. The Blueprint is also accompanied by practical examples to inspire companies to think creatively about the contribution they can make to achieving the Goals. It is a tool of UN Global Compact. 

Navigating the SDGs: a business guide to engaging with the UN Global Goals 

PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), an international network operating in 158 countries and providing management and strategic consulting services, proposes a guide in which SDGs are presented in relation to the specific national context and sector of activity. PWC has also developed the SDG Selector: an interactive tool with which companies can make an initial assessment of which SDGs are most relevant to their industry sector and/or geographical area.  


GRI Standards are the first global standards for sustainability reporting. Characterized by a modular and interconnected structure, they represent the best global practice for reporting economic, environmental and social impacts.   

In order to facilitate the integration of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into the Sustainability Report, UN Global Compact and GRI propose two complementary publications:  

Business Reporting on the SDGs: An Analysis of the Goals and Targets 

It is an analysis of the possible quantitative and qualitative information that a company can report in relation to the 17 goals, and their 169 targets, accompanied by specific indicators.  

Integrating the SDGs into corporate reporting: A Practical Guide 

This second document offers a structured approach to support companies in choosing sustainability goals and targets to integrate into corporate responsibility programs and sustainability reporting.  

The Analysis and Practical Guide are designed to be used together as part of a company’s normal reporting cycle. 


With the  2030 Agenda, the United Nations not only wanted to send out a cry of alarm about the inequalities and emergencies of the planet, but also tried to get closer to stakeholders by promoting mutual understanding. The UN no longer as an abstract supranational entity, but as an open body of structures and people pursuing objectives related to the common good.

UN-Business Action Hub is a platform through which the UN and businesses can dialogue, share information and take action to achieve SDGs. Through the Partnership Passportsection, companies are able to get a complete picture of the UN bodies with which they can get in touch according to the SDGs, the activities and the geographical area related to the projects and actions they intend to undertake.  After filling in a platform registration form, companies can publish their projects and use the platform to search and interact with potential partners. 


SDG Industry Matrix 

It is a collection of good business practices divided into 6 business sectors: financial services; food, beverages and consumer goods; wellness; industrial manufacturing; transport; energy, natural resources and chemicals.  It has been produced by KPMG, a network of independent management consulting companies affiliated to KPMG International Cooperative, together with UN Global Compact.    

GRI Sustainability Disclosure Database

The Sustainability Disclosure Database, developed by GRI and made available to users free of charge, is a worldwide database that provides access to all types of sustainability reports, whether based on GRI or not, and relevant information about reporting organizations. You can search for a specific organization or apply a range of filter options and preferences to refine your search results. The Register Report page provides more information about what types of reports are recorded and tracked and how to add your organization’s report to the database.





Thanks to Impronta Etica for its scientific contribution.

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