Sustainable Development Goals and the role investors can play towards sustainable solutions

by BMO Global Asset Management | Jun 10, 2019
Investors cannot be a passive bystander to global challenges and by having a common global language we can engaged with corporates and governments and to capital towards solutions.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out a roadmap for a more sustainable global economy

Why: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a universally-recognised framework for assessing and accelerating progress towards a more sustainable world.

What: As shareholders we discuss important environmental and social issues with the companies we, and our clients, invest in to create positive behavioural change.

How: We are engaging with companies on SDG targets where we can have the most impact and influence.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out a roadmap for a more sustainable global economy and society by 2030. Developed by the United Nations, they were endorsed in 2015 by all 193 member states. They build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but are broader in scope, and have a critical difference – whilst the MDGs focused on government actions, the SDGs look to all stakeholders, including the financial sector and business, to support implementation.
BMO SDG image CISI
The SDGs are structured around 17 Goals. Each goal has a set of targets setting out specific objectives to achieve the Goal, with a total of 169 targets across the 17 Goals. 

What role can investors play?

As with all investments the value of investments and any income derived from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the original amount invested. 

Finance has a critical role to play in achieving the SDGs, by channelling capital towards solutions. We believe that the financial sector cannot be a passive bystander to sustainability challenges and should work actively alongside corporates and governments within their privileged and trusted position as stewards of capital.

Our experience so far is that corporates welcome this development in engagement approach. With demands growing for sustainability reporting that is time intensive to produce, there is increasing pressure to prioritise and find ways to communicate on sustainability effectively, to satisfy a wide range of stakeholders. By working with the common language of the SDGs, investors and corporates can build a more effective engagement relationship.

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