The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 accompanying targets, with 230 indicators so far. Two years after their publication, these goals are still not widely implemented in business practice, and the sheer number of targets and indicators carries an obvious risk of cherry-picking and sub-optimal decision-making. One of the problems is that the 169 indicators were developed for governments and NGOs and not for business. For instance, none of the indicators underlying the Climate goal have business relevance: they all focus on policies, subsidies, etc. The Business and Sustainable Development Commission reports that the first hurdle is re-interpreting the indicators to link them to business, especially to decisions around product strategy and development. We are looking for businesses to participate in and get insight from this project development; if you are interested please contact the Secretariat.

In line with the Life Cycle Initiative vision, the project brings the qualitative and quantitative impact pathway thinking from Life Cycle Impact Assessment to bear on the 17 SDGs. It will investigate a range of options ranging from qualitative to screening approaches to fully quantified end-point metrics solutions. The first step will be to identify and invite decision makers who represent government, business and consumers and relevant experts from the LCA and SDG research fields. Together, we will then establish an agenda for discussion, to understand:

  1. the context of how SDGs are being used by decision makers
  2. how LCA-based metrics can contribute to that
  3. the requirements and wishes of the various stakeholders
  4. the need for capacity building.

This stakeholder consultation will take place in the next few months and is by invitation only. However, if you are interested in participating, please contact us for more information. As a part of this collaboration, we published a short joint report “Making the SDGs relevant to business“, summarising the current knowledge on the interests of companies and policymakers to link the UN Sustainable Development Goals to business needs and exploring the interest in using Life Cycle Assessment as a tool to support the use of SDGs.

The project is managed by 2.-0 LCA and PRé Consultants.