A brief introduction to the UN SDGs for businesses that aspire to be greener
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals, adopted by *all 193 United Nations member states* in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Here they are:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequality
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
- Partnerships to achieve the Goal
They provide a blueprint that organisations, including businesses of all sizes, can use to implement their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) policies to improve the world. Your business does not need to pursue them all. But it can choose those relevant to its stakeholders and that the organisation can deliver. Responsible business and investment will be essential to achieving change through the SDGs.
Wealth managers are increasingly managing the money of younger people who seem to value sustainability more. According to a May 2021 survey by The Harris Poll, 30% of Millennials often or exclusively want to invest in companies that consider ESG factors vs 19% of Gen Z, 16% of Gen X and 2% of Baby Boomers.
Wealthtech is responding to that. For example, Clim8 Invest offers solutions that allow investors to gain exposure to themes which support the UN SDGs.
In addition, the SDGs are also entering financial regulation in the UK, the EU and other jurisdictions.
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), a UN platform, reviews the progress of SDGs annually. The UN SDGs Report provides an annual overview of the world’s implementation efforts.