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Accelerating Colombia’s corporate ESG progress

An online platform in Colombia is making it easier for companies to assess how they are contributing towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Launched with backing from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the National Planning Department (DNP) of Colombia, and the UN Development Program, the SDG Corporate Tracker Colombia has so far been used by 480 businesses.

The tracker was developed to support Colombia Voluntary National Review - the annual stock-take by countries on SDGs progress that is presented as part of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which is currently underway

The tracker captures the contribution of the private sector to the SDGs by providing:

  • Data analysis by sector, size and region to map business progress towards sustainable development.
  • The identification of best practices that companies can incorporate in their operations.
  • Access to information that informs decision making for the development of public policy.

"The private sector plays a key role in driving the sustainable development agenda, and it is essential for businesses and policymakers to be able to measure their progress," said Andrea Pradilla, head of GRI Regional Hub Hispanic America. "Through the SDG Corporate Tracker and its alignment with the GRI Standards, companies in Colombia can now evaluate their contributions to the SDGs and develop strategies to improve their sustainability efforts."

Colombian investors call for improved ESG reporting

Meanwhile, 10 major investors in Colombia have signed a pledge that calls for businesses to publicly disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG) information. Organized by UN-PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment), it sets out that companies should:

  1. Report on ESG performance using GRI’s internationally recognised standards, complemented by SASB reporting.
  2. Deepen climate change reporting, in line with CDP disclosure and the TCFD recommendations.
  3. Use audit processes that ensure transparency and reliability.
  4. Regularly communicate ESG data in their engagement with investors.

The agreement has been signed by Acciones & Valores, Protección, Credicorp, Capital Corfincolombiana, Funacion WWB, Grupo Bancocolombia, Javeriana, Porvenir, Sura Investment Management, and Skandia.

"The pledge by investors calling for companies to report on ESG issues is highly significant, as it signals the importance that key stakeholders place on responsible business practices," added Pradilla. "This will encourage more Colombian companies to be transparent about their sustainable development impacts, as supported by the SDG Corporate tracker."

The tracker uses an online questionnaire that connects with the disclosures in the GRI Standards, collecting relevant business data based on the three pillars of sustainability - social, economic, and environmental. A similar tool has also launched in Peru, while there are plans to scale it to other countries.  

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