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Criteria-Based Approach to Select Relevant Environmental SDG Indicators for the Automobile Industry

Lisowski, Sergej; Berger, Markus; Caspers, Justus; Mayr-Rauch, Klaus; Bäuml, Georg; Finkbeiner, Matthias

FG Technischer Umweltschutz / Sustainable Engineering

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be met without the private sector. In order to contribute to the fulfillment of the SDGs, companies have to identify their influence and select relevant SDGs. However, so far no research has been conducted on the influence of companies or industries at the most concrete level in the SDG framework—the 247 SDG indicators. In this paper, a criteria-based approach to select relevant environmental SDG indicators for the automobile industry is developed. The three criteria—environmental impact, direct impact, and automobile impact—are defined. By means of a qualitative analysis, 31 influenceable indicators are selected and substantiated by an empirical analysis of the automobile industry’s impact. These indicators belong to 12 SDGs and demonstrate the broad influence of the automobile industry. The outcome of this study is a structured procedure for selecting relevant environmental SDG indicators. This procedure can be applied by companies and can also be adapted to other economic sectors. Finally, it is possible to quantify the level of influence of the selected indicators and thus measure the contributions of companies or economic sectors to the fulfillment of the SDGs.