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The Universal Sustainable Development Goals for Purpose and Change

Virginia Munro (Griffith University, Australia)

CSR for Purpose, Shared Value and Deep Transformation

ISBN: 978-1-80043-036-5, eISBN: 978-1-80043-035-8

Publication date: 14 September 2020


Since the 2015 introduction of the United Nations Global Goals, also referred to as the sustainable development goals (SDGs), we have witnessed a movement toward inclusion of goal-related initiatives listed under CSR strategy and in CSR sustainability reports. At the time of writing this chapter, the United Nations were presented a speech by young activist Greta Thunberg and many other activists commenced riots in major cities. All are pointing toward, what they perceive, as a lack of effort to solve issues related to climate warming. At the same time new research has revealed that targets for the SDGs are falling behind levels expected for 2030. There has also been concern for the potential of “SDG washing,” reported in the academic literature. This would greatly decrease the credibility of the goals over time. For this reason, it is vitally important to measure the impact of initiatives introduced to fit each SDG category and label. This will also assist with funding SDG implementation at a much faster rate. This chapter commences with a brief introduction of the SDG framework and discusses the United Nations and OECD methodology and the development and implementation of key global goals. Various research reports are discussed alongside a tracking study on uptake of the SDGs, and the need for SDG metrics to create transparency and evaluation. The chapter ends with example case studies of CSR strategy implementing and measuring the SDGs, alongside a discussion of financial vehicles released to support further development. The chapter also makes suggestions for future research opportunities to assist SDG progression.


Munro, V. (2020), "The Universal Sustainable Development Goals for Purpose and Change", CSR for Purpose, Shared Value and Deep Transformation, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 85-117.



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