On the 15th of May 2024, EARSC attended on behalf of the SDGs-EYES project, the panel discussion in the context of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) at the Geospatial World Forum 2024.

The Geospatial World Forum was held on May 13-15th 2023, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The conference brought together the international geospatial community, policymakers and industry stakeholders to discuss the current space landscape and future trajectory. 

EARSC joined one of the main tracks of the conference,  ESG & Climate Resilience Summit, together with Tim Trainor, Former President US Census Bureau, Ondrej Mirovski, Senior Sustainability Manager at PowerHUB, Technology centre Prague and Raj Kumar Kathri, Former Additional Chief Secretary Government of Karnataka, Gov India

This summit highlighted the concept of Sustainability as a multifaceted one encompassing various dimensions, with environmental sustainability forming just one facet and includes the SDGs. Within organisational contexts, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings serve as specific, quantifiable metrics capable of forecasting future growth and profitability. 

Within the panel it was discussed how Earth Observation data holds immense potential in contributing to sustainability initiatives, particularly in the context of certification processes. By integrating EO data into development methodologies, there is an opportunity to streamline and standardise processes and enhance the effectiveness of sustainability standards. For instance, in the case of forest management, SDGs-EYES pilot 4, EO data can provide valuable insights into forest cover, biodiversity, and land use patterns, facilitating certification processes such as those conducted by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). These insights not only support the certification of sustainable forest management practices but also contribute to the broader objectives of the      SDGs, particularly in the areas of environmental conservation and responsible resource management.

Sustainable Development Goals and ESGs are different frameworks to report on, but both cover the sustainability concept and it is understandable that they can overlap. 

If there is an alignment of corporate strategies with regulatory requirements and best practices, the EO uptake demonstrates guiding environmental stewardship. ESG and SDGs are frameworks for addressing pressing global challenges and managing risks which provide an excellent room to drive innovation by countries or private companies on how to assess the interconnected sustainability issues. Specifically, on the environment and moving from the indicator monitoring and reporting, the indicators are key metrics used to measure progress towards the sustainable development agenda.

The SDGs-EYES project is organising user uptake webinars to foster engagement among the SDGs-EYES pilots and community of users that can benefit from EO-driven solutions to monitor SDGs indicators. Do not hesitate to contact francesca.piatto@earsc.org and monica.migue-lago@earsc.org for more information.