Report: Unraveling the Role of The Private Sector

Index Initiative published its landscape study ‘Unraveling the Role of The Private Sector‘ in 2015. This study identifies for 15 industries where they are best positioned to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Based on these finding Index Initiative selected five industries for a future feasibility study. With support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Index Initiative will now assess the added value of an industry index for sustainable development for the agricultural commodity traders, chemicals, mobile telecommunications services, oil & gas and seafood industries. These industries share that their contribution to the SDGs is unique, actionable and significant.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the cornerstone of the post-2015 development agenda. Engaging the private sector is widely considered to be pivotal for achieving these SDGs. This landscape study by Index Initiative – with support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs – identifies 15 industries well positioned to contribute to the SDGs and the specific areas in which they can have the greatest impact. Based on the results of this study, five industries have been selected for which the feasibility of an industry index for sustainable development will be further assessed.

By comparing companies in the same industry to one another, each index rewards good practice and provides a transparent means by which companies can monitor their own performance and that of their peers. Furthermore, the insights provided by an index make it an invaluable resource for industry stakeholders, governments, financial institutions, civil society and academia.

The findings of this landscape study demonstrate that all 15 industries have the potential to make a significant contribution to the SDGs, but the nature of this contribution differs. Companies can contribute by transitioning to more sustainable business models, demonstrating stewardship in the protection of natural resources and ecosystems, providing access to products and services that have become issues of equity, improving compliance throughout the supply chain and/or progressively lowering environmental footprints.