Understanding the Sustainable Development Goals

With concern growing among clients about the impact of their investments on the environment and society, combined with the increase in fund managers talking about ESG and responsible investing, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are in the spotlight.

They are shaping the way investors of all sizes and persuasions are thinking about the social and environmental impacts of their investments. Fund managers are responding with products that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

But what are they, and how do they actually apply to investments? 

The SDGs were borne out of the United Nations as a blueprint for economic development that is just and sustainable, now and into the future. The SDGs agenda is a set of 17 globally agreed Goals – each with a subset of targets and indicators – to be achieved by the year 2030.

While the SDGs were intended to guide policy makers around the world, there is a clear role to play for the private sector. Companies and investors alike are well positioned to allocate capital that will contribute towards the Goals.

There are a number of ways the SDGs can apply to investments – and some are more credible than others. The SDGs are especially helpful for those interested in ‘impact investing’, or achieving environmental and social outcomes alongside financial returns.

In this article, we provide context on the SDGs, outline investment approaches that make a meaningful contribution to the Goals, and support investors in navigating this emerging investment theme.

This article has been prepared by Pendal Fund Services Limited (PFSL) ABN 13 161 249 332, AFSL No 431426 and the information contained within is current as at February 13 2020. It is not to be published, or otherwise made available to any person other than the party to whom it is provided. 

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