Spain – Forética
What is your country’s government doing with respect to the SDGs and how have they engaged business around this agenda?
The Spanish Government publicly and officially endorsed the implementation of the SDGs with respect to national strategies and baseline assessments. Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government, attended the High-Level Political Forum 2018 to present Spain’s Voluntary National Review (VNR). As a consequence of this VNR, Spain has mapped the alignment of existing national strategies with the SDGs and presented and action plan to implement the 2030 Agenda that prioritizes the most urgent needs of the country.
In terms of governance, Spain has set up a High Commission for the 2030 Agenda, a new Office for the 2030 Agenda and a Sustainable Development Council to provide advice and guidance to the decisions and initiatives that will aim to achieve the SDGs action plan. In addition, the government has:
- adapted the existing High-Level Group for the 2030 Agenda (GAN) to the new Minister organigram,
- identified different focal points by SDG in the National State Administration,
- created a mechanism in order to coordinate the SDG implementation within the different public administration levels (national, regional and local), and
- introduced a mixed SDG Commission for both Parliament and Senate.
The National Statistical Office has been officially mandated to lead the work on data and indicators for the SDGs and has identified 134 out the 232 UN indicators.
What are some of the key trends with regard to how business is engaging with the SDGs in your country?
According to the last report released in 2018 by the Global Compact about how the private sector is making progress towards achieving the SDGs (Las empresas españolas ante la Agenda 2030), the following key trends can be identified:
- Spanish companies consulted understand the transformative vision of the SDGs as an action plan to generate a viable development model that has to be led by the public administration. In this way, companies ask for:
- Access to resources and tools that help them to work towards the achievement of the SDGs (66%),
- A secure framework of policies that foster action towards the 2030 Agenda (61%),
- The integration of sustainability clauses within the public procurement processes and the creation of incentives to companies that prove their commitment towards SDGs.
- 69% of the companies, out of the 1320 that answered the survey, know about the SDGs and 61% claim that they have already put in place respective measures. However, there is a significant difference between big companies and SMEs when implementing these initiatives in their strategies, 87% and 54% respectively.
- In this respect, 68% of the survey participants have a general commitment towards SDGs, 56% have carried out social action projects, 36% communicate contributions via their sustainability reports and only 22% have established public, specific and measurable goals related to the SDG framework.
- The perceived benefits from integrating SDGs into business activities and strategies range from improving stakeholder engagement (70%), enhancing corporate reputation (68%) and to new market opportunities or innovative product development (45%).
- 35% of companies are already involved in some partnerships and 26% are planning to do so in the short term.
What is your organization doing with respect to the SDGs?
Forética has been working with the SDGs since their inception from different perspectives. First, we help all kind of organizations, public and private, to align their strategies with the 17 SDGs leveraging materiality analysis and focusing on their potential impact. We also produce a series of annual reports in order to analyze the level of implementation of the 2030 Agenda globally, in Spain and among companies.
At the national level, we have participated in the private sector consultation process requested by the Spanish government and aimed to contribute to the Action Plan for implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Moreover, we have driven the Public Companies CSR Action Group, comprised by 26 members, that is currently drawing up a roadmap towards the SDG implementation in the public sector.
At the European level, as a partner of CSR Europe, we have translated the work of the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on SDGs: European Sustainability Award and the contribution to the reflection paper “Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030” to the Spanish context.
We also feature a special section on our website in order to inform and update all of our stakeholders about the latest tools, reports and news relevant for the implementation of the SDGs.
The Public Companies Action Group on Corporate Social Responsibility (Grupo de Acción de Responsabilidad Social en empresas públicas) lead by ICO and coordinated by Forética was set up in 2018 and comprises 28 members. It has recently published the “Practical guide on the public companies contribution to the 2030 Agenda”
Some of the most relevant conclusions from the companies involved in this action group include:
- 37% have a solid commitment from their top management to promote the 2030 Agenda
- 48% have already identified the most relevant SDGs for their business
- All of them are already significantly contributing to SDG 8, SDG 9, SDG 11 and SDG 13
- 30% have already developed training and internal awareness programs on the 2030 Agenda
- 48% express that, thanks to the initiatives put in place to follow up their contribution towards the achievements of SDGs, they have set up improvements in their everyday management