Core Indicators for Sustainability and SDG Impact Reporting: Training Manual

In 2015, Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, containing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.

SDG 12 Sustainable Consumption and Production in its Target 12.6 explicitly encourages companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycles. Indicator 12.6.1 requires data on the number of companies publishing sustainability reports.

Since 2015 UNCTAD has been working to enable further advancements on SDG sustainability reporting by companies. Specifically, focusing efforts to support governments in measuring the contribution of the private sector to the implementation of the SDGs.

UNCTAD developed its Guidance on core indicators for entity reporting on contribution towards implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (GCI). 

This Training Manual has been updated based on the changes included in the second edition of the Guidance on Core Indicators for Sustainability and SDG Impact Reporting.

The core SDG indicators cover the economic, environmental, social and institutional areas. They were identified based on key reporting principles, main reporting frameworks and companies reporting practices.

Economic area indicators

  • Revenue
  • Value added (gross value added, GVA)
  • Net value added (NVA)
  • Taxes and other payments to the Government
  • Green investment
  • Community investment
  • Expenditures on research and development
  • Share of local procurement

Social area indicators

  • Share of women in managerial positions
  • Hours of employee training
  • Expenditures on employee training
  • Employee wages and bene?ts
  • Expenditures on employee health and safety
  • Incidence rate of occupational injuries
  • Share of employees covered by collective agreements

Environmental area indicators

  • Water recycling and reuse
  • Water use efficiency
  • Water stress
  • Waste generation
  • Waste reused, re-manufactured and recycled
  • Hazardous waste generation
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Ozone-depleting substances and chemicals
  • Share of renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Land used adjacent to biodiversity sensitive areas

Institutional area indicators

  • Board meetings and attendance
  • Share of female board members
  • Board members by age range
  • Audit committee meetings and attendance
  • Compensation per board member
  • Corruption incidence
  • Management training on anti-corruption

The Training Manual also contains self-assessment questions and solutions and a list of selected references to deepen the understanding of these issues.

GCI Tutorials

Following the structure of the Training Manual the Tutorials are also divided in 4 booklets containing slides that provide key points on each of the core SDG indicator in economic, environmental, social, and institutional areas.

The Tutorials are intended to support users in carrying out their further self-paced studies based on what they have already learned in the GCI and the GCI Training Manual.

The booklets can be accessed at the links shown below: