In 2016, the GIIN issued a series of case studies about the role of impact investing in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These case studies profiled how impact investors were mapping their existing portfolios and impact themes to the SDGs. The GIIN has since found that more impact investors are aligning their portfolios to the global goals and are utilizing them as a framework for measuring the effectiveness of their impact investing activities. The GIIN’s 2018 Annual Impact Investor Survey revealed that more than half of impact investors surveyed reported tracking some or all of their impact performance against the SDGs, showcasing the potential for impact investing to catalyze progress towards the goals.
It is important for impact investors to align existing assets to the global goals; however, there is not enough new capital being channeled into solutions. The UN estimates that USD 5-7 trillion is needed annually to achieve the goals. As such, it is critical that investors go beyond alignment to the global goals and instead, raise and direct new capital towards progress against the SDGs.
Given the scale of capital required and this sense of urgency, some investors are executing new approaches to incorporate the SDGs throughout the investment cycle. The GIIN’s latest report, Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: Impact Investing in Action, reiterates the need for impact investors to raise and direct new capital to help meet the SDGs by 2030 and showcases how select impact investors are taking action. This compendium of five case studies describes how the goals can be woven into the various stages of the investment cycle, as well as investors’ motivations for doing so, advice for other investors, and outlook for the industry. Each case study also provides an example of an investment that contributes to the SDGs.
The investors featured in the report include: Blue like an Orange Capital, Incofin Investment Management, The Mirova Land Degradation Neutrality Fund project, PGGM, and Partners Group.