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Measuring and Managing the Impact of Business on the SDGs

Jan Anton van Zanten (Robeco, The Netherlands)

International Business and Sustainable Development Goals

ISBN: 978-1-83753-505-7, eISBN: 978-1-83753-504-0

Publication date: 31 July 2023


Sustainable development requires businesses to improve their positive and reduce their negative impacts. This chapter discusses how the impact of business on sustainable development can be measured and managed using the sustainable development goals (SDGs). First, it introduces two complementary approaches for measuring impact: a top-down approach that departs from the economic activities that companies undertake; and a bottom-up approach that defines the impacts of individual companies. Second, it argues that companies can manage their impacts on the SDGs through a nexus approach. Instead of treating SDGs as isolated silos, a nexus approach aims to advance multiple SDGs simultaneously (creating co-benefits) while reducing the risk that contributions to one SDG undermine progress on another (avoiding trade-offs).




The author is employed by Robeco, an asset management firm with its headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The views expressed in this chapter are not necessarily shared by Robeco.


van Zanten, J.A. (2023), "Measuring and Managing the Impact of Business on the SDGs", van Tulder, R., Giuliani, E. and Álvarez, I. (Ed.) International Business and Sustainable Development Goals (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 31-46.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Jan Anton van Zanten