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The UN SDGs Explained for Impact Investing

It’s Global Goals Week, and FLIT Invest is excited for this year’s regeneration of action and enthusiasm for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda. The UN SDGs are a pretty important framework for development and work to ensure a just and sustainable future. They guide nations, companies, NGOs, and even investors on how and where to pursue peace and prosperity. This article aims to provide you with an into to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how they relate to impact investing with FLIT Invest. Read on to find out more!

What are the UN SDGs?

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a considerable landmark for development. On 25th September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; this was an exciting and innovative global framework to support sustainable development internationally. At the core of the 2030 Agenda are 17 Sustainable Development Goals – they outline significant developmental challenges for humanity and aim to secure sustainable, peaceful, and equitable life on earth for everyone. Each goal has targets to enhance the success of pursuing and attaining the goal. There are 169 targets in total, each with indicators to measure success. The SDGs build upon five critical components – people X prosperity X peace X partnership X planet – but the motto “leaving nobody behind” is fundamental to the UN’s framework. The goals recognize the importance of social, environmental, and economic development in harmony within and between nations. All countries are target countries – a just and sustainable world is one where we work together.

What's the aim of the UN SDG framework?

Many instabilities originate from desperation from poverty, competition for resources, or improper social infrastructure. Building a sustainable future contributes significantly to global stability. The United Nations provides a platform for member states and stakeholders to exchange their objectives and reach agreements. Here, representatives from stakeholders share their insights and knowledge accumulated from their practice and update any progress or obstacles faced in accomplishing their goals. Collaborations help to ensure maximum utility and exchange of expertise: this includes private companies, government officials, youth delegates, and other stakeholders.

What do the 17 Goals address?

The UN SDGs recognize various social, environmental, and humanitarian issues. Each has a title, objective, targets, and indicators. Here is a complete list of the 17 SDGs and their objectives:

SDG 1 No Poverty. End poverty in all its forms for all people.

SDG 2 Zero Hunger. End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

SDG 4 Quality Education. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

SDG 5 Gender Equality. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

SDG 7 Affordable and Quality Energy. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth. Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

SDG 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities. Reduce inequality within and among countries.

SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

SDG 13 Climate Action. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

SDG 14 Life Below Water. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

SDG 15 Life on Land. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

SDG 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. Promote peaceful, just, and inclusive societies.

SDG 17 Partnership For the Goals. Strengthen the means of implementation and reinvigorate the global partnership for sustainable development.

How does FLIT use the UN SDGs?

We believe the UN SDGs are necessary for a more equitable, greener, and just future. They are an excellent tool for measuring sustainable practices in countries and companies, which is why they are part of our impact measurement. Impact investing drives money towards companies making an intentional, positive impact on social and environmental issues. SDG mapping is a form of impact measurement that tracks company revenue against the 17 SDGs. If a company makes $700,000,000 a year, you want to know if any of that is coming from providing solutions to SDG 5 Gender Equality, SDG2 Zero Hunger, or SDG 13 Climate Action?

Can I track my UN SDG impact with FLIT?

You can track impact in various ways when you invest with FLIT Invest; UN SDG tracking is just one of the available impact metrics you can see based on your investments. We aim to quantify and contextualize the impact for investors to make an informed choice. The UN SDG tracker screen shows how your investment contributes to one or more of the SDGs. You can contribute to attaining the 2030 Agenda, including SDG 5 Gender Equality through our Gender Equality theme or SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy through our Green Energy theme.

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