The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and global power company Enel have launched a joint project to research whether the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have influenced business reporting and contributed to the adoption of new partnerships and business models.

The project intends to look at how to strengthen the role of reporting to enhance sustainable business practices and to stimulate collaboration.

In the first phase of the project, businesses, policy makers, NGOs and other stakeholders will be asked to share their perspectives on the current state of affairs and help develop a vision on how companies and governments should work together.

An online collaborative forum is being hosted by consultancy business GlobeScan, and public forums will be held on 8 October and 14 November with a multi-stakeholder panel convened by GRI and Enel.

In the second phase, the outcomes of the online forums will be discussed in regional dialogues in 2020. Participants will explore how lessons around effective business models and partnerships can be translated into concrete action.

GRI chief executive Tim Mohin said: “It is clear that, by engaging in SDG reporting and embedding this within corporate disclosures, businesses can change their ways of working through embracing sustainable practices.

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“This exciting partnership with Enel will help us understand how this is happening in practice – and what we can do to encourage more companies to get on board, as well as support national and global collaboration.

“I would encourage organisations that are already reporting on the SDGs and those with a key interest or expertise in this area to get involved, by participating in the engagement work we have planned.”

Enel’s head of innovation and sustainability (Innovability) Ernesto Ciorra said: “The integration of SDGs into our group's strategy is key to fostering group growth while accelerating sustainable development where we operate and promoting the creation of value to be shared with all the stakeholders we work with, from local communities, to employees, suppliers and investors.”