SMEs play a fundamental role in the global economy. The integration of sustainability Within its business strategy, it has become a priority, as reflected in the publication “Communicating Progress 2021: business reporting as an instrument for sustainable recovery”, carried out by the United Nations Global Compact Spain. This exhaustive analysis includes the progress reported by the entities adhering to the initiative in terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and human rights, the environment and the fight against corruption, framed in the Ten Principles of the Global Compact.
In this sense, among the main conclusions of the report, the growth of the commitment of small and medium-sized companies adhering to the initiative in Spain with the achievement of the SDGs, publicly acquired by 80% of SMEs, stands out. This data reveals a positive trend since the figure is 9 percentage points above that of 2020. In addition, companies of this type register a good evolution in terms of establishing commitments measurable and quantifiable, going from 16% to 28%.
Also noteworthy is the fact that 56% of Spanish SMEs that carry out actions or have programs aimed at promoting health and well-being (SDG 3), a very positive figure since it is close to that registered by large companies Spanish, where the number is currently around 61%.
Throughout this last year, these small and medium-sized companies have registered a decrease in progress in terms of labor standards, related to SDG 8, especially decent work and economic growth, compared to those reported during the 2020 financial year. Specifically, 66% of the SMEs analyzed have non-discrimination policies and measures compared to 2020, where the figure stood at 71%. On the other hand, currently 67% of companies have measures aimed at work-life balance.
Regarding the human rights bloc and despite the fact that positive progress is being made in terms of the implementation of specific policies in this area, there is still a long way to go. In this sense, only 8% of the SMEs analyzed claim to have a human rights policy – 3% less than last year – compared to 22% in the case of large companies adhering to the United Nations Global Compact. .
Finally, the block related to the environment it reflects positive advances in almost all the indicators, especially in topics such as the evaluation of the impacts of climate change or the establishment of emission reduction objectives.
In this challenging area, SMEs are making progress compared to the previous year, since almost half, specifically 45%, have an environmental policy and 62% commit to reducing CO2 emissions (SDG 13). However, the SMEs that are part of the Global Compact still have a long way to go regarding the use of renewable energy (SDG 7), where the total represents only 11% which, although higher than last year, is still not enough.