Material ESG Outcomes and SDG Externalities: Evaluating the Health Care Sector’s Contribution to the SDGs
40 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 2, 2018
The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have created a framework for environmental and social impacts, which many large institutional investors and an increasing number of corporations are using to guide their resource allocation decisions or highlight those already in place. In this paper, we argue that the SDGs have clarified certain elements that have been predominantly missing (or implicit) in many ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) standards and metrics, specifically focusing on the environmental and social externalities (social costs) created by companies.
Using a methodological framework that maps the SDGs and their targets to the 30 generic issues developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB), this paper focuses on health care as a case to evaluate the contribution of companies in this sector to the SDGs for which their material issues, as defined by SASB, are relevant. Issues not considered material by SASB are also evaluated. In doing so, we highlight where private sector firms can be (and have been) contributing to SDG impacts. Where that is either not occurring or perhaps not possible, the paper points to the need for public sector activities.
Keywords: SDG's, ESG, Materiality, SASB, TruValue Labs, Externalities, Sustainability
JEL Classification: Q01, Q56, I10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation