NGO plans index ranking companies by UN sustainable development goals

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) – an alliance of business, nonprofit, and government organizations – announced on 31 October that it plans to create a “Seafood Stewardship Index” to rank the top 30 largest seafood companies against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The UN’s SDGs, a set of 17 goals for 2030, includes a range of objectives and issues, including environmental sustainability, social welfare, and more. The 30 companies – representing the 30 largest seafood companies in the world – will be ranked according to how they’re reaching that goal. 

The first stage, according to the WBA, is to create the methodology of the report. The companies being ranked and other stakeholders in the sector are being invited to comment on the report’s methodology in advance of creating the seafood index. 

“The Seafood Stewardship Index (SSI) is a bold response to the major challenges facing the global seafood industry these days,” Lead Seafood Stewardship Index at the WBA Bas Geerts said. “This consultation will make the SSI methodology more robust as we continue to bring many different perspectives to the table. Therefore, we kindly invite you to share with us your reflections, feedback and suggestions regarding this draft methodology.”

The WBA was launched in September of 2018 at the U.N. General Assembly, and is tasked with developing a broad range of benchmarks by 2023 to assess how well the world’s companies are moving toward the UN’s SDGs. 

“It aims to empower consumers, investors, governments, civil society organizations and companies by providing them with free and publicly available data that shows seafood companies’ SDG-performance,” the WBA wrote in a release. “This will help them when making purchasing decisions, allocating investments, or directing strategy, policy and advocacy efforts.”

The first draft of the index is currently going through its public consultation period between 22 October and 17 December, 2018. The feedback will be sent to a review committee, which will then put together a final methodology for creating the index. 

“With only 12 years left to deliver against the SDGs, governments, businesses, civil society, and individuals alike must make a concerted effort to achieve progress,” WBA Executive Director Gerbrand Haverkamp said. “This new and unique approach will measure and incentivize businesses to continue driving efforts towards a more sustainable future. The real value of benchmarks is that they will empower society to make decisions that are in line with societal values, which will ultimately create demand for corporate responsibility.”


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