New toolkit on the horizon for institutional investors, companies and foundations to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals

Geneva, 16 October 2014 (UNCTAD press release) – Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment

UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, and the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) will develop a toolkit for institutional investors, companies and foundations to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their investments.

This effort kicks off as Governments, businesses and civil society prepare to implement an ambitious sustainable development agenda in 2015 – with negotiation of a new set of Sustainable Development Goals, a universal agreement on climate change, and a renewed framework to finance sustainable development.

The implementation of new Sustainable Development Goals will require a significant increase in investment in sustainability areas from all available sources, including public, private, international and domestic. Public finances, though fundamental to sustainable development, cannot alone meet the demands for financing. There is a growing consensus about the importance of private investment and public-private partnerships to advance sustainable development.

Despite the growth of corporate sustainability, private sector participation in financing sustainability is relatively low, particularly in developing countries. While responsible investment is starting to reach a critical mass, responsible investment that deliberately seeks to create positive social or environmental impact in addition to financial returns – responsible and impactful investment – is still modest.

The investment toolkit will help operationalize the UN Global Compact Post-2015 Business Engagement Architecture and UNCTAD’s Action Plan for Private Investment in the SDGs, with practical guidance and a set of tools that can help investment stakeholders manage the complexity of global investment chains and maximize their organization’s support for the SDGs.

About UNCTADEstablished in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD has progressively evolved into an authoritative knowledge-based institution whose work aims to help shape current policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable development.
About the UN Global CompactLaunched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With 8,000 corporate signatories in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.
About Principles for Responsible InvestmentThe United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative is an international network of investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. Its goal is to understand the implications of Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG) for investors and support signatories to incorporate these issues into their investment decision making and ownership practices. In implementing the Principles, signatories contribute to the development of a more sustainable global financial system. Visit