A new initiative led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims to help channel private investment and capital to meet the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the Better Business, Better World report, achieving the SDGs will create $12 trillion of new market opportunities in food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being, in addition to creating 380 million jobs, 90 percent of which would be in developing countries.
Called SDG Impact, the initiative, launched on 25 September 2018 at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, will work with the private sector on how best to invest in enterprises and markets in ways that help achieve the SDGs, an ambitious blueprint for a world without poverty or inequality.
According to a recent report Better Business, Better World, the SDGs offer companies a tremendous new growth strategy that will help build trust with society and broad-based prosperity. The report, by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, also stated that pursuing the SDGs would open up markets in new commercial opportunities.
SDG Impact kicked off with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNDP and the Impact Management Project (IMP), an initiative housed by Bridges Fund Management that has achieved consensus with hundreds of investors and their representatives on what it means to deliver impact through financial investment.
“There is a $30 trillion shortfall in funding to achieve the United Nations’ development goals. That is why we must get large corporations involved. More large corporations must participate. They must think what they can do toward improving social and environmental issues,” said Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group and The Portland Trust. “There comes a time when they can no longer talk only about making money.”
According to UNCTAD, at current levels of investment in SDG-relevant sectors, developing countries alone face an annual gap of $2.5 trillion.
SDG Impact will provide investors and businesses with much-needed country-level data and SDG investment roadmaps. The initiative spells out the need for investors and companies of all sizes to adapt and transform their core business strategies to deliver financial, social and environmental performance, and to use the SDGs as the basis for engaging in untapped markets, generating investments in developing countries and navigating risks and opportunities.