As a socially conscious wealth management firm, we feel a strong responsibility to invest in companies and causes that contribute towards a better world (which led to the development of our High Impact Portfolios). With that said, we support the United Nations' Global Goals for Sustainable Development, or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for positively transforming our world. We hope to promote awareness and ideas on how you too can help pursue these goals throughout this weekly Bair Blog series.
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
While the SDGs are not legally binding, governments are expected to take ownership and establish national frameworks for the achievement of the 17 Goals. Countries have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review of the progress made in implementing the Goals, which will require quality, accessible and timely data collection. Regional follow-up and review will be based on national-level analyses and contribute to follow-up and review at the global level.
GOAL 9 OF 17: BUILD RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIALIZATION & FOSTER INNOVATION
Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure.
Inclusive and sustainable industrial development is the primary source of income generation, allows for rapid and sustained increases in living standards for all people, and provides the technological solutions to environmentally sound industrialization.
Technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen.
The return on Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investments may be lower than if the adviser made decisions based solely on investment considerations. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
“Infrastructure and Industrialization - United Nations Sustainable Development.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/infrastructure-industrialization/.