Responsible Investment

Goals to transform our world

By Rebekah Swan
Chartered Member of Institute of Directors (CMInstD) Managing Director / Head of Clients New Zealand

In 2015, more than 190 world leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a better world by 2030. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. Not surprisingly, the SDGs are becoming more and more a topic of conversation.
Below we explain what the goals are and why they are important.

The 17 goals

The SDGs were developed to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015 and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. They cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, global warming, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanisation, environment and social justice. The 17 goals are depicted in the diagram below:

Goals to transform
Source: UN

The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another. Each goal also has a separate list of targets to achieve, so in total there are 169 targets for the 17 goals.

The success of the SDGs requires a partnership of governments, private sector, society and citizens alike to make sure we leave a better planet for future generations. It lets any organisation, regardless of their activity, relate their strategy or objectives to the SDGs, which in turn allows everyone to talk the same language, locally, nationally and internationally.

Why the goals matter

The SDGs will continue the fight against extreme poverty, and adds the challenges of ensuring more equitable development and environmental sustainability, especially in the key goal of curbing the dangers of human-induced climate change. If the global community collectively is prepared to step up to the challenge, then there’s a chance of achieving sustainable development — and with it better prospects for people and the planet.

In my work with people from many different parts of the economy; from community organisations to councils, energy companies to traditional investors, I get to see how some of these organisations are taking a leadership role in this space and how they are applying it to their business/organisation activity.

Sustainable development isn’t just something which happens to somebody else, somewhere else. We all have a role to play if we are going to achieve these goals of a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world. The SDGs are everybody’s responsibility.

Through our Responsible Investment Charter we are essentially investing to do good. However, as an organisation we’ve also begun thinking about the SDGs and how the investing that we are doing is impacting on SDG outcomes. Increasingly, impact is being assessed through alignment with the SDGs – so outcomes need to be tangible, able to be measured, and then be reported on.

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Important notes

While every care has been taken in the preparation of this document, AMP Capital Investors Limited (ABN 59 001 777 591, AFSL 232497) (AMP Capital) makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any statement in it including, without limitation, any forecasts. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This document has been prepared for the purpose of providing general information, without taking account of any particular investor’s objectives, financial situation or needs. An investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs.
This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided and must not be provided to any other person or entity without the express written consent of AMP Capital.

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