The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked goals designed as a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all."
So how can you align your portfolio or your clients' portfolios with the SDGs?
A good first step is to determine which of the 17 goals are most important to you or your clients.
While some funds aim to support all of the SDGs (for example, Impact Shares' SDGA), most publicly-traded companies have mixed impact on the SDGs. For example, a company may create decent, safe jobs (SDG 8), but have no impact or negative impact on other SDGs such as climate action (SDG 13).
Prioritizing will help ensure positive impact on the goals that are most important to you or a client.
Once you've decided on priority SDGs, there are an increasing number of investment options to support each SDG. Some funds that target specific goals include:
- Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund: invests in companies with policies and outcomes that support women's advancement
- AllianzGI Global Water: invests in companies that look to improve water supply, efficiency and quality
- Change Finance U.S. Large Cap Fossil Fuel Free ETF: excludes fossil-fuel companies, as well as companies failing to meet a number of other environmental and social criteria
- Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment: invests in US companies with strong racial and ethnic diversity policies
If you want to build a portfolio of individual stocks, there are also many resources for finding stocks that align with the SDGs. You can find some of these in our report, Top Corporate Watchdogs.
Once you've started making investments, some portfolio management tools have measurement methodologies to asses your or your clients' impact on the SDGs.
No matter how you measure impact, the SDGs are a great way to think about how well a portfolio supports a better future for the planet and all people.