Ecuador – CEMDES

What is Ecuador doing with respect to the SDGs and how have they engaged business around this agenda?

Ecuador seized the opportunity offered by the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to catalyze synergies between national and local authorities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, academia and the civil society to drive genuine and meaningful sustainable development at the economic, social and environmental levels.

Ecuador’s government commissioned the National Planning Secretariat (SENPLADES), to prepare the National Development Plan (PND)as the main planning instrument for the country.  A series of consecutive national development plans have been developed in line with the objectives of the SDGs to lead up to 2030, through a gradual, quadrennial approach.

In parallel, this nation-wide effort is complemented by local development plans (planning and territorial development plans – PDOT) piloted by the Decentralized Autonomous Governments (GAD) which have a strong sustainable development focus and follow the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda.

Ecuador’s National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) has the mandate of measuring and reporting on the progress against the SDGs through statistical planning and performance indicators. INEC’s has been involved in defining policy to measure progress on the SDGs. At present, only 34% of the necessary data to measure SDG progress is available and there is a focus on improving the availability data to 72% in the coming years

As of 2020, Ecuador has directly aligned all the objectives, policies and National Development Plan goals with the SDGs, which enabled to identify responsible actors, prioritize and focus resources, as well as strengthen national planning exercises, monitoring and evaluation. The country has submitted its first Voluntary National Report in 2020 and will present it at the UN HLPF in July 2020.

Mandated by the 2030 Agenda, representatives of the legislative power in Ecuador seek to act as an intermediary between civil society and governmental entities by promoting inclusive policies ensuring no one is left behind.

The country has not been spared by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be focusing its efforts to avoid jeopardizing its progress to date and support the economic recovery. Strengthening public health systems and provision of essential services is one of Ecuador’s top priority.

While there is a growing momentum for the SDGs and a strong interest of business in the SDGs throughout Ecuador, coordinated nation-wide, government-supported programs to strengthen business contribution to the SDGs have yet to be put in place.


What are some of the key trends with regard to how business is engaging with the SDGs in Ecuador?

Circular Economy is the topic gaining increasing interest from business across Ecuador. The ongoing development of a White Paper on Circular Economy involving the private sector will provide a clear and accurate picture of the situation and to propose lines of action on prioritized sectors for the national strategy.

As for other countries in Latin America, the private sector in Ecuador has enhanced its efforts on integrated sustainability reporting and management, using internationally recognized standards such the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This trend is accompanied by growing attention given to the SDGs, as companies have begun their SDG mapping and led an extensive prioritization exercise to identify where they can achieve greater impact throughout the value chain.

Companies are also increasingly involving their customers and consumers in their research and innovation processes. In Ecuador, more businesses are looking at enhancing their portfolio by offering more sustainable and personalized products and services. Growing attention is given to sustainable solutions.


What is CEMDES doing with respect to the SDGs?

The SDGs are central in CEMDES’s engagement strategy with the business community. We aim to support companies in identifying process and initiatives to assess and report on their strategy and operations’ alignment with the Goals.

We launched Plataforma ODS, an online platform to help raise awareness and educate on the SDGs at the national level. Addressing the business community in Ecuador, it also describes the business case for the SDGs and highlight practical engagement opportunities for businesses in the country.

We are also working on several programs to support businesses in their sustainability transition and act as an enabler for impactful contributions to the SDGs:

  • Raising the ambition on SDG 12.6: This program with ESPAE, the first Business School of Ecuador, seeks to strengthen capacities for corporate sustainability reporting.
  • Call to action for water: This initiative involves 18 companies and 1 organization and promotes business action in favor of the sustainable use of water. Additionally, this group participates in the WBCSD water program aiming to raise the ambition on SDG 6.3.
  • Business Opportunities and SDGs Program: By offering workshops, we support in-company capacity building programs to help companies align their strategies with the SDGs and identify business solutions for companies.
  • Mapping and prioritization of SDGs: We launched a joint program with the Sustainability Committee of the Ecuadorian American Chamber of Commerce – AMCHAM, through which the SDGs Compass is applied to help companies in the mapping and prioritization of the SDGs.
  • Products and Services Platform: Together with our colleagues from CECODES in Colombia, we aim to facilitate the meetings between large and transnational companies and SMEs, thus creating a virtual system of inclusive businesses as a mechanism to help economic recovery. This initiative was initiated in June 2020 and specifically aims to address SDGs 1 and 8.

We also encourage companies to explore and use existing relevant guidance developed by WBCSD, UNGC and the Natural Capital Coalition to inform their strategy.


More information

To learn more about CEMDES approach and work, please visit our website:

More information on Ecuador and the SDGs: UNDP Ecuador, Ecuador VNR page, Ecuador 2030, ODS Territorio Ecuador, Ecuador 2020 Voluntary National Review report

Contact: Jimmy Andrade, Director Ejecutivo

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