India’s Top Companies and the SDGs

During 2017 UN Sustainable Development Summit, members from 193 countries of the United Nations collaboratively committed to adopting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, also known as Global Goals). The countries committed themselves to meet the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The 17 SDGs and 169 interlinked targets within these range from ending poverty to stemming climate change. They provide a pathway for a sustainable and more prosperous world.

Since the Sustainable Development Goals have to be implemented by 2030, it requires an immense effort not only from the government but also businesses. The Indian Government is already using SDGs as a roadmap for formulating national policies and regulations. It is incumbent upon corporations to complement these actions.

SDGDescriptionDG MappedOur mapping
SDG 1No Poverty71%69%
SDG 2Zero Hunger63%23%
SDG 3Good health & well being84%34%
SDG 4Quality Education82%52%
SDG 5Gender equality81%46%
SDG 6Clean water & sanitation89%54%
SDG 7Affordable & Clean energy77%42%
SDG 8Decent work and Economic growth89%73%
SDG 9Industry, innovation & infrastructure73%70%
SDG 10Reduce inequalities60%45%
SDG 11Sustainable cities & communities63%30%
SDG 12Responsible consumption & production85%52%
SDG 13Climate action85%70%
SDG 14Life below water32%4%
SDG 15Life on land61%49%
SDG 16Peace, Justice, and strong institutions45%54%
SDG 17Partnerships to achieve the goals56%52%

Our study indicates that that 60% of the top 100 companies incorporate SDGs into their responsible business actions. All the top 10 companies map their business goals with SDGs. The leading sectors are Diversified and IT where 80% and more companies have mapped and the laggards are sectors such as Other Financials.

On average companies map 12 SDGs with a low of 1 to a maximum of 17. Of the companies that mapped their SDG goals, 54 (87%) were in the private sector and 51 (82%) were manufacturing companies. In terms of focus, the SDGs 8 (decent work), 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 3 (good health & well-being), and, SDG 4 (quality education), and occupy the top position with over 82% companies reporting so. On the other hand, SDG 14 (life below water) was mapped by the least number of companies – 32%.

We also attempted to map our scoring to the actions of top 100 companies with the SDGs. The prominent SDGs were SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) SDG 13 (climate action) and with over 70% of the companies indicating it as an action item. Other important ones were SDG 1 (No Poverty), 6 (clean water and sanitation) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), and, SDG 4 (quality education). Both manufacturing and service companies focused on SDG 8, 13, 9 and 1 – similar to the overall results. The pattern repeats itself across all industries.