Why You Should Invest in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
When you make any purchase or investment, you’re making a statement with your money. Now’s the time to do some research: Are your preferred companies forward-thinking and committed to a sustainable world?
In 2015, every single member state of the United Nations adopted an agenda for sustainable development. The agenda lays out the world’s best plan to date to build a better world for people and the planet by 2030.
Within the plan are 17 Sustainable Development Goals covering themed issues (such as climate action and gender equality) that have a huge impact on the prosperity of the world’s people and protection of the environment. It’s now up to everyone, from countries to corporations to individuals, to make that impact positive.
Here’s how we as individuals can commit to and actively support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Vote with Your Dollars
When you make any purchase or investment, you’re making a statement with your money. The goods and services you opt to buy and the companies you invest in all show what you support and what you value. If you haven’t thought about these considerations before, now’s the time to do some research: Are your preferred companies forward-thinking and committed to a sustainable world?
For some corporations, supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals has meant decreasing carbon emissions, increasing the minimum wage, building technology and systems that are better for our planet, and making vaccines more accessible.
These are the same corporations that your dollars support when you consume goods, buy services and, most importantly, when you invest.
Choosing to invest your money only in companies actively committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is a solid way to support their achievement and make a positive impact on the world.
You could say it’s a way of voting with your dollars, and your votes are only going toward companies doing the work it takes to make a difference. When investors, no matter how big or small, band together to keep their money away from companies lagging behind, it signals to these corporations that they need to keep up with evolving corporate consciences. If they don’t, they’ll take a hit to their bottom line.
Make an Impact Together
The corporations you invest your dollars in have the resources and scale to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals more quickly and effectively than countries and individuals alone. This is why the UN actively works to partner with different sectors, both public and private, to drive change forward.
For example, thanks to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
- Coca-Cola began making an impact in gender equality in 2010 with 5by20, a commitment to empower 5 million female entrepreneurs by 2020. Initiatives include offering business skills training, access to funding, and mentorship opportunities.
- Whirlpool committed to reduce its energy and water consumption from manufacturing by 15% by 2020, and achieved the goal three years ahead of schedule. It’s now working to offer full material transparency on 90% of all new parts by 2020 and eliminating all manufacturing-generated landfill waste by 2022.
- L’Oréal, recognized as a UN Global Compact Lead in 2018, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 67% between 2005 and 2016 (while also increasing production volume by 29%). According to Fast Company, L’Oréal’s sustainability efforts are directly integrated with operations, so much that “the bonuses of all L’Oréal brand and country managers became linked to outcomes on three environmental targets” such as improving products’ environmental and social profiles, customer awareness of the brand’s sustainability efforts, and positive environmental contributions.
We’ll continue to share how companies continue to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals – check back here or subscribe to our blog for updates!
Remember: You don’t need to be a diplomat to participate in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Anyone can get involved, whether you have thousands to invest or just a few dollars to spend. Whether it’s changing your purchasing habits or making conscious investments, your values-driven, intentional financial behaviors can make a real difference.