Metrics to measure impact

Leveraging the SDGs’ Actual Targets and Indicators

Companies can directly use many of the targets and indicators delineated in the SDGs to measure their contribution. The Resource on the right includes a list of the goals, targets, and indicators that are most relevant for business, including measurements of positive contributions toward the SDGs and measurements of efforts to mitigate potentially negative impacts.

Translating the SDGs at the Industry Level

Many of the SDG targets and indicators need a “translation” from a macroeconomic to a microeconomic level, with a focus on the specific impact of companies based on their industry. Building on existing reporting standards and company practices—for instance, the sector-specific disclosure standards produced by SASB and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), as well as the metric frameworks produced by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and the Harmonized Indicators for Private Sector Operations (HIPSO)—the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) has recommended a list of core company-level metrics to track the main contribution of major industry sectors and the achievement of the SDGs. A link to the metrics is available on the Resource on the right.

Leveraging Metrics Used for Development Finance and Impact Investing

For further insight into the measurement of impact, companies can take inspiration from metrics that are used by development finance institutions (DFIs) and impact investors to assess private-sector investments. These include the Joint Impact Indicators for Gender, Jobs, and Climate developed by the IFC and the GIIN and the Harmonized Indicators for Private Sector Organizations developed by a consortium of DFIs.