WE.1.B || SDG as a Basis for Sustainability Assessments of Products and Companies

Eberle, Ulrike; Wenzig, Julius

Purpose. The Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) poses the most important framework for sustainable development worldwide. However, the contributions of products and companies to the SDGs using methods such as social and environmental life cycle assessment (S-LCA; E-LCA) have not been thoroughly addressed in the scientific literature. The purpose of this research is therefore to identify product-related SDGs and suitable indicators. Methods. To systematically select product-related SDGs, it was asked whether a product a) has a direct impact on the achievement of the SDG or b) if the companies along the life cycle that produce or offer the product have a direct influence on the achievement of the respective SDG. Suitable indicators are derived and adapted from generally accepted frameworks such as the General Indicator Framework (GIF-SDG). Results and discussion. 16 of the 17 SDGs and 59 of the 169 subtargets (35%) were evaluated as product-related while the rest are on a policy level. To measure the contribution of products to these SDGs, an analysis of the GIF-SDG showed that no indicators can be used without alteration. 64% of the indicators could be adapted to fit products while for 36% of the SDGs indicators from other frameworks had to be drawn. In total, 45 indicators have been identified to be appropriate for assessing the potential contribution of products to the 59 targets. Conclusions. The presented work builds the basis for analyzing the impact of companies and products on the SDGs. In further research also an impact assessment method to assess the impact of the socio-economic indicators identified has to be developed. Acknowledgement. The authors are grateful for the funding of this work to the German Federal Ministry on Education and Research (BMBF) within the German Socio-ecological Research Programme under the funding contracts 01UT1901A and 01UT1422D.