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Investors can Play a Central Role in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals



Institutional investors across the world are ready to engage with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, finds a report published today by ShareAction.

The researchers surveyed 52 institutional investors based in every region of the world with over £4trillion assets under management. The research found that:

  • 95% of respondents plan to engage with investee companies about issues covered by the Goals
  • 84% will allocate capital to investments supporting the Goals
  • 89% will support regulatory reforms that promote the Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by 193 countries at a UN Summit in September 2015. The Goals cover social, environmental and economic targets for global development and tackle some of the most serious issues facing people and the planet.

The report, Transforming Our World Through Investment, finds that investors with a range of mandates are already supporting the Goals, and believe that taking action in support of the Goals is consistent with their investment objectives.

What do investors think of the Goals?

  • 75% of respondents are already taking action which contributes to 3 or more Goals
  • 65% of the investors surveyed said that supporting the SDGs is consistent with their fiduciary duty
  • 62% said that doing so offers opportunities to increase investment returns.

Very few investors disagreed with these statements, but the research indicates that awareness of the Goals among many investors is not high and work is needed to ensure the framework of the Goals is seen as relevant by the world’s major institutional investors.

Action by investors to support Goals 8, 9 and 13 (promoting decent work and economic growth; building industry, innovation and infrastructure; and taking action to curb climate change) were considered by respondents to the survey to have the greatest potential to meet their long-term investment objectives.

Weak progress towards Goals 6 and 13, which are concerned with sustainable water management and combatting climate change, is associated with material risk for investors. The report gives evidence of how investors are taking action to mitigate these risks, through capital allocation and engagement with investee companies.

How are investors supporting the Goals?

Investors are already supporting various Goals in a number of ways. Respondents were most likely to be currently supporting:

  • Goal 13 (action to combat climate change) – 78% of respondents reported currently taking action in this area
  • Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower girls and women) – 70% taking action
  • Goal 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy) – 67% taking action

Most investors who responded do not yet frame activities which contribute to the Goals as such – a more common reference framework is environmental, social and governance, or ESG risks and impacts.

The report includes a number of case studies detailing how different investors are undertaking work which contributes to the achievement of the Goals. For example:

  • Mirova is using the SDGs as the basis for its ESG analysis framework. The firm has developed a scoring methodology to determine companies’ impacts on the SDGs, which gives companies a sustainability ranking. Mirova’s funds then exclude those companies which have a negative impact, and increase allocations to those which have a positive impact.
  • Alliance Trust Investments has also developed a framework to integrate the SDGs into its investment analysis. The firm has identified sustainable water management as a key theme, which is addressed by Goal 6 (‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’). In 2015 the World Economic Forum labelled water availability as its ‘top global risk’ in terms of impact. Alliance Trust states: ““We believe that companies who are willing to be transparent on this issue and effectively manage a resource that is so vital to local communities, the natural environment and gross margins, are quite simply better investments.”
  • Walden Asset Management has advocated for strong human rights policies within companies’ supply chains, to reduce inequality in how workers are treated, which supports Goal 10 (‘Reduce inequality within and among countries’). Since the launch of the SDGs, Walden Asset Management has written to a number of companies about the Goals, enquiring about actions they are taking to address Goal 1 (‘End poverty in all its forms everywhere’) and other Goals that address core issues related to extreme poverty.
  • Pax World Investments, a US investment management company, has integrated diversity analysis and gender criteria into the research it produces for its funds. Its funds now favour investments in companies with diverse boards and also seek to avoid companies that do not provide a safe work environment for women. This supports Goal 9, which is to achieve gender equality.


Barriers to investors supporting the Goals included a lack of information on companies’ social and environmental impacts and the wide-ranging nature of the Goals.

The report recommends the development of tools and frameworks for investors to link their investment objectives with the Goals, and action to improve company reporting. There is a significant role for investors themselves and investor organisations in fulfilling these recommendations. The report also finds that policy makers and civil society organisations with a commitment to the achievement of the Global Goals should support and engage the investment community to help advance the Goals. Partnerships between different actors will be crucial to driving meaningful action by institutional investors on this challenging long-term agenda.

Shadé Brown, Senior Sustainability Analyst at Calvert Investments, one of the investors surveyed, said:  “The Sustainable Development Goals are inspiring, ambitious and challenging. A better understanding of the investor-SDG landscape, barriers and ways to overcome them, as this report lays out, is important for investor efforts and the overall sustained and coordinated action necessary to achieve the goals of the SDGs.”

Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive of ShareAction said: “This research lends considerable support to the thesis that the Sustainable Development Goals are highly investment-relevant. Strong progress towards these Goals will drive GDP growth in many parts of the world. In a low returns environment, we are not surprised but we are pleased to see that institutional investors are engaged with these underlying drivers of business success.”

Jo Mountford, Responsible Investment Officer at ShareAction and one of the report’s authors said, “Our research indicates that investors are ready to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals, and indeed many are already doing so. We’re pleased to present strong examples of how investors are aligning their investment strategies to support the Goals, and making the most of the opportunities they present. From investing in accessible healthcare in emerging markets to promoting gender diversity in the boardroom, this report illustrates the many routes open to investors who wish to support the Global Goals.”


How Going Green Can Save A Company Money



going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance



“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]

Report contents:

What you need to know
Report definition
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
The role of investing
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
The social debt of the financial crisis
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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