The KPMG survey has tracked business adoption of the 17 UN SDGs since its launch in 2015. The SDGs have resonated strongly with business with large leaps in reporting against them between 2017 and 2020.
And yet, we’ve seen only incremental growth in adoption over the past 2 years. The data shows a 2 percent increase of the N100 (to 71 percent) and a 2 percent increase in the G250, where three-quarters of the G250 now report against the SDGs.
Global SDG reporting rates (2017–2022)
Base: 4,581 N100 and 240 G250 companies that report on sustainability or ESG matters
Source: KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting 2022, KPMG International, September 2022
Asia Pacific, Latin America remain SDG reporting leaders
In 2022, we see 12 countries, territories and jurisdictions in which 75 percent or more of the top 100 companies reference SDGs in their sustainability reporting. Four of those are in the Asia Pacific region. Thailand led with 93 percent of companies identifying specific SDGs that were most relevant to business.
Even though this strong geographical spread suggests that the SDGs are fully embedded around the world, reporting rates in Eastern Europe (61 percent) and the Middle East (65 percent) can still improve.
In the G250, 100 percent of German companies reference the SDGs. Also impressive is the increasing references to SDGs among Chinese companies, going from 5 percent of companies in 2017 to 56 percent in 2022.
Room for improvement on balanced SDG reporting
In both the N100 and the G250, the vast majority of companies communicate only the positive impacts they have on SDGs, with only one-tenth of N100 companies and one-third of G250 companies considering both positive and negative impacts on SDGs.
The research also showed that more companies are reporting against specific SDGs, with 10 percent of companies reporting against all 17 SDGs. Three SDGs remain the most popular for companies: 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; and 13: Climate Action. Few companies prioritize the following three SDGs that relate to 2: Zero Hunger; 14: Life below Water; and 15: Life on Land.