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; 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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Prior to founding FLIT Invest, Alejandro worked at J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank in New York, where he oversaw and managed investments for ultra-high net worth families. Before J.P. Morgan, he was an investment analyst at Northwestern Mutual, responsible for developing comprehensive financial plans and asset allocation models. Alejandro is a CFA charterholder and former professional soccer player.

Steven is a UX/UI Designer based in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BA from CSULB focusing on graphic design. Steven approaches his projects with a keen eye for design while prioritizing user-friendly solutions. He is passionate about animal welfare, and environmental causes.

Prior to FLIT, Kinga worked at Ericsson as a software developer specializing in data analysis where she developed machine learning models to evaluate the quality of the encrypted media traffic over mobile networks. She is an advocate for promoting a transparent and effective work environment. Kinga values diversity and feels strongly about providing access to education. She has a sweet tooth, loves reading and HIIT training.

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Prior to founding FLIT Invest, Richard was an investment banker at ING in London. He advised banks, asset & wealth managers, FinTechs and other financial institutions on mergers & acquisitions, financing and other strategic projects. He is an impact investing enthusiast having advised BlueOrchard – leading global impact investing asset manager – on their sale to Schroders. Richard is a former professional triathlete, vegetarian and nature enthusiast.

Serena is a sales and growth professional. She has experience in rapidly scaling revenues for consumer products through the deployment of marketing campaigns and team strategy development. Serena has a keen eye for identifying and implementing emerging consumer trends that result in better user experiences. She is passionate about criminal justice reform and is a loud voice in the fight for gender and racial equality.

Martin is a Software Architect and Developer whose goal is to make FLIT Invest an application that puts usability and security first. Martin started his career in finance, where he developed an integrated treasury solution for banks and corporations. Then he deep-dived into medical imaging at Siemens Healthcare, where he spent years developing a next-generation radiography system. Martin is an avid traveler and loves cycling, hiking, and skiing.

Zsolt has worked as a Software Engineer in Germany, Scotland, and Hong Kong. His work experience lies predominantly in the FinTech industry, both in startups and well-established companies. Before FLIT Invest, Zsolt was a developer at Asia’s leading wealth management platform in Hong Kong. Alongside FLIT, Zsolt is completing his Master’s Degree in applied mathematics in London. In his free time, he enjoys swimming and reading fiction.

Tina is a UX/UI Designer based in Los Angeles, CA. Her expertise in both Economics and Interactive Design allows her to approach topics from a variety of perspectives in order to create products, assist people, and solve problems. She characterized challenges in a larger scope as an explorer, and she continued to look for solutions that would better human life. In addition to design, Tina is enthusiastic about women’s issues in society and animal welfare in various countries.

Peter is a Mobile Engineer with extensive experience in native iOS and Android app development. He has worked with various Fortune 500 companies across industries including fintech, transportation, human resources, energy, accounting, and pharmaceuticals. Being a lifelong learner he’s always eager to acquire new skills in various topics. He’s enthusiastic about different aspects of finance, and in his free time he enjoys working out.

Nick is a User Researcher based in Los Angeles, CA. After receiving his BA in Psychology, he moved on to receive a certificate in UX/UI from UCLA which set him on the path to understanding users. Nick approaches User Research with an empathetic lens, ensuring that every user’s needs are considered in each step of the process. Nick is passionate about providing sustainable change, and in his free time, he’s looking for another national park to check off the list.

Brian is a self-taught iOS developer based in Los Angeles, CA. Driven by a strong interest in finance and renewable energy, he takes pride in being part of a team that takes huge steps towards a greener future. Prior to joining FLIT, Brian played multiple competitive games such as League of Legends at a top-tier level- applying the same mindset of growth and improvement from gaming to his iOS development. Brian is often playing the piano in his free time and is extremely fascinated by artificial intelligence.

Rob is an impact investing analyst passionate about sustainability and its role in finance. Currently, he is a student at the University at Buffalo (UB), where he is the President of the UB Sustainable Business Association and a Board Member of the UB Equity Research Group. In his free time, you can catch Rob exercising or golfing.

Holly is a BSc Psychology with International Placement graduate from the University of Manchester, UK. She has worked and volunteered in the social care sector for 7 years and whilst at university, established an award-winning student zero-waste shop. She is passionate about social justice and environmental sustainability, and in her spare time volunteers as a Scout Leader and enjoys going for tea and cake with friends.

Jake is an entrepreneur, designer, and biologist passionate about sustainability. Previously, Jake founded VOSTIC, a company that manufactured and distributed a kelp-based replacement for plastic. Jake holds a master’s degree in Design Systems from Pacific Northwest College of Art and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Lewis & Clark College. On weekends you might find him making music or snowboarding at Mt. Hood.