Align The Integrated Thinking & Sustainable Goal With Integrated Report<IR>

We must have the courage to strike out in new directions and embrace an economic model which is not only low-carbon and environmentally sustainable, but also turns poverty, inequality and lack of financial access into new market opportunities for smart, progressive, profit-oriented companies.

Reference: Business and Sustainable Development Commission (2017, p7)

The framework for contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Integrated Report <IR> value creation process set out in this blog. This involves below five step process:

  1. Include all sustainable development issues relevant to the organization’s external environment;
  2. Mature integrated thinking, connectivity and governance;
  3. Recognise material sustainable development issues that affect value creation;
  4. Develop the goals and strategy to contribute to the SDGs through the business model;
  5. Develop and communicate the integrated report

Sustainable development requires a systemic response involving transformative changes, notably

in knowledge, policy and institutional systems from all sections of society. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement1, SBTi2, EP100are few example of global multi-stakeholder responses to this challenge. The SDGs are inter-dependent and contributing to them involves trade-offs, just as an organization’s outcomes involve trade-offs between multiple capitals (see the <IR> Framework4).

An integrated report demonstrate how an organization creates value over the time. Value is not created by or within an organization alone. It is:

  • Influenced by the external environment
  • Created through relationships with stakeholders
  • Dependent on various resources and Capitals  

Reference: International <IR> Framework, IIRC

The International <IR> Framework (IIRC, 2021) can be used to assistance understanding of the relationship between sustainable development and value creation further trade-offs across the interdependent and potentially conflicting SDGs. It does this by:

  • taking into account of risks and opportunities presented by the external environment;
  • adopting a multi-capital approach;
  • recognising that creating value over time requires social and environmental stewardship and creating value for investors and other relevant stakeholders;
  • enabling high-level engagement and a holistic approach (integrated thinking) through its emphasis on connectivity and board oversight.

Supporting business approaches to the SDGs with Integrated Reporting can redirect investment flows to maximize value creation. Further it enhance the knowledge of impact of business activities on sustainable development. Such type of culture and strategy help to assist organizations in reducing risk, identifying opportunities and delivering long-term, innovative solutions and technologies for addressing sustainable development.



About The Author

Manojkumar BorekarProduct Head- Sustainability
TUV India Pvt. Ltd.