Understanding Impaakt Frameworks when rating: SDGs, Impact Topics and Categories

Anna Helena Chaim

7 min Read Time | August 7th 2023

Key Takeaways

The SDGs provide the overarching structure, while impact topics offer a focused lens through which we evaluate companies' impact on the world.

Diving into various impact areas of each SDG enriches your rating journey, offering insights for assessments and a broader understanding of sustainability impacts.

Rating involves distinguishing between product, process, and taxes & philanthropy impacts. Product analyses assess core offerings' effects, process analyses examine operational practices, and the third category evaluates taxes and charity contributions. When rating, remember the company's core business as a starting point, keeping the broader impact in perspective.

SDGs & Impact Topics: how do they relate to one another?

At Impaakt, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as a comprehensive framework that guides our mission and actions. These 17 global goals established by the United Nations encompass a wide range of critical challenges, from climate action to gender equality.

Impact topics, on the other hand, are the specific areas within these SDGs where companies' actions and operations have a tangible influence. They are a set of social and environmental impacts identified by the Impaakt Team to provide an additional layer of complex insight into measuring current impact. They range from general themes like Greenhouse Gas emissions and Job Creation to industry-specific topics such as Gentrification and Water Pollution. These topics allow us to delve deeper into the multifaceted landscape of sustainability.

For example, SDG 12 aims to ensure sustainable production and consumption practices. There are different lenses or areas through which you can assess how companies' impact affects this SDG. At Impaakt, we have 6 topics or "lenses" under SDG 12: Food Waste, Overconsumption, Core Business Impact (Treating Waste), Operational Waste Production, Product End-of-Life Waste, and Environmental Solutions.

Note: you can find all SDG 12 Rating Guides in the "Knowledge Center" > "Rating for Impaakt".

The relationship between SDGs and impact topics is a symbiotic one: the SDGs provide the overarching structure, while impact topics offer a focused lens through which we evaluate companies' impact on the world.

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How do you benefit from rating topic-focused?

Engaging with the diverse impact topics under each SDG is a transformative aspect of your rating journey. By delving into various facets of a company's impact, you not only enrich your understanding but also uncover the multifaceted ways they can contribute to or hinder progress toward a specific SDG. This diversity opens up a wealth of insights, enabling you to holistically assess a company's actions. 😉

This focused learning doesn't just stop here – you can seamlessly apply this newfound knowledge in your professional realm, and personal endeavors and projects. It's not just about assessing companies; it's about cultivating a profound understanding of how they intersect with the global sustainability agenda.

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Impact Categories

Rating also requires differentiating between the impact of products, processes, and taxes & philanthropy. Product analyses assess the environmental and social implications of a company's core offerings, while process analyses focus on the company's operational practices and externalities. In the third category, taxes & philanthropy, we consider the company's contributions to taxes and charitable initiatives.

With that being said, keep the score in perspective. When rating, remember the company’s core business - the main way it contributes to society. Other impacts arise as costs or benefits from the company’s operations. In this sense, these topics should be evaluated and rated with the company’s core business as a starting point.

Impact Topics per SDG


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