Driving sustainable development in line with the UN SDGs will create a more prosperous world, to live in today and to pass on tomorrow

Galvanising a powerful sustainable development agenda

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the globally-agreed set of goals to solve the world’s most pressing problems – issues such as ending poverty and protecting the planet from climate change. Over the next 15 years, governments around the world will mobilise efforts to achieve these 17 targets, but the public sector can’t do this alone; it is clear that investors have a central role to play in achieving the SDGs.

To strengthen the link between the work of responsible investors and sustainable development in the real world, we will connect our work to the SDGs, and enable signatories to do the same. For example, we have been developing an SDG self-assessment tool: a questionnaire through which investors can consider how the SDGs are embedded into their investment policies.

Top five sections in the Reporting Framework where signatories mention the SDGs

The investment case

Although momentum around the SDGs is strong, investors may still ask how contributing to them can help them fulfil beneficiaries’ expectations around risk-adjusted returns.

To counter this, we launched the report, The SDG investment case. It showed that the investment case for the SDGs is clear:

  • They are a framework for advancing responsible investment
  • They are an unavoidable consideration for “universal owners”
  • They will drive economic growth
  • They can be used as a risk framework
  • They can be used as a capital allocation guide

The report highlights that not only should the SDGs serve as a list of the material ESG factors that should be considered as part of fiduciary duty, but that providing solutions to the world’s sustainability challenges offers long-term investment opportunities.

“Since the launch of the Principles for Responsible Investment in 2006, the preamble to the Principles has said: 'We recognise that applying these Principles may better align investors with broader objectives of society.' Never before have these 'broader objectives of society' been more clearly defined than in the SDGs.”

The SDG investment case



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