Pandemic reinforces 2030 Agenda role in Spain

A report by Esade and the "la Caixa" Foundation points out that SMEs are serving as a driver of sustainability

The massive impact generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the role of the 2030 Agenda and small and medium-sized enterprises in the drive towards sustainability, according to a report by ESADE in collaboration with the "la Caixa" Foundation. This is one of the main findings of the document, which also highlights that in view of the pandemic's deep social, health and economic impacts, the 2030 Agenda is now seen as a worthwhile and highly relevant roadmap. It also points out that it will serve to strengthen the coherence of global policies and enhance the role of public, private and civil society actors as agents of change.

The study by ESADE reveals an increase in the percentage of companies that mention the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their non-financial reports, up to 73% (up 7% since 2019). However, it notes that only a few of these mentions are accompanied by ambitious plans to describe the contribution to the 2030 Agenda. The United Nations' global goals that were most flagged by companies in their reports (with over 45% of the mentions) were SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) and SDG 13 (Climate action).

The document from ESADE and the "la Caixa" Foundation notes that the coming into force of Law 11/2018 on non-financial information and diversity has led to a progressive improvement in the quality of the information published. In 2020, 106 of the 134 listed companies based in Spain submitted non-financial information relating to the previous year. This figure represents about four out of five companies (79%, nine percentage points more than the previous year's 70%).

Photo: Esade