No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being. What else could the modern-day holiday traveller wish for? Right..? Obviously, the attentive reader is already listing the remaining 14 sustainable development goals (SDGs) in his or her head. Because although being well, well-fed and well-off is nice during the holidays, there are still plenty of things in this world that have to go a whole lot better before we can feel good about ourselves year-round. Responsible consumption and production, reduced (gender) inequality, and climate action, for example, are just a few of the SDGs that are also very relevant on a remote holiday destination.
This latest edition of the ECA Journal zooms in on auditing SDGs which, according to the European Commission entails ‘a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 world-wide, ensuring that no one is left behind.’ Big words, but powerful as well. Especially if you consider that 193 countries, including all EU Member States, pledged to achieve these goals. So we are not talking about development aid.
But what do the SDGs mean for the European Union and its citizens? What is being done and is it realistic to expect full implementation within eleven years? Are the EU and Member State institutions leading by example? Or is it up to the private sector to drive sustainable development? And what is the role of and regional or local actors?
This ECA Journal’s summer edition is an essential item on this year’s holiday packing list for anyone who is interested in the answer to these questions, and especially the auditor’s point of view. Because how do you measure global progress and how should you report on SDGs, when there are so many goals, targets, and indicators to take into account?
This edition’s highlights:
12 EU fully committed to sustainable development –
Interview with Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission
23 Sustainability risks are financial risks –
Interview with ECA Member Eva Lindström
44 SDGs beyond Europe –
Latin Amercian and Carribean SAIs cooperate on auditing the SDG on gender equality –
By Osvaldo Rudloff Pulgar, Office of the Comptroller General of Chile
How external auditors can help corporates report on non-financial information and meet Sustainable Development Goals – By Valérie Arnold and Krisztina Szenci, PwC Luxembourg
76 Sustainability is in the DNA of the Bank –
Interview with Emma Navarro, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank
86 Sustainable investments: the great transformation for companies, investors…and consumers –
By Georg Kell, Chairman of Arabesque
97 How POLITICO writes about the EU and Sustainable Development Goals –
By Eline Schaart and Paola Tamma, POLITICO
In addition to these must-reads, this ECA Journal features contributions from across the globe. For example experts Giovanni Bruna, Caroline Fox, Alainna Lynch and Emma Torres from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) on SDG implementation; UN Director Barbara Pesce-Monteiro on key UN actions; OECD and Ingeborg Niestroy from SDG Watch Europe and Nick Meynen from the European Environmental Bureau on the role of civil society organisations.
Other articles look at the audit perspective and the role of SAIs. Such as contributions from Ahmed Demir and Bernd Ellermann from the Bundesrechnungshof; Marcos Bonturi from the OECD; José Melian Hernandez from the Canary Island Audit Office; and ECA Member Phil Wynn Owen. Furthermore, the policy angle is covered by former ECA Member Gijs de Vries from the London School of Economics; Arnoldas Abramavicius from the Committee of the Regions; Gert-Jan Koopman, Director-General of the European Commission’s DG Budget; and Saïd El Khadraoui from the European Political Strategy Centre at the European Commission.