The UN Sustainable Development Goals in 300 words

A brief introduction to the UN SDGs for businesses that aspire to be greener

Credit: The United Nations

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals, adopted by *all 193 United Nations member states* in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Here they are:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequality
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal

They provide a blueprint that organisations, including businesses of all sizes, can use to implement their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) policies to improve the world. Your business does not need to pursue them all. But it can choose those relevant to its stakeholders and that the organisation can deliver. Responsible business and investment will be essential to achieving change through the SDGs.

Wealth managers are increasingly managing the money of younger people who seem to value sustainability more. According to a May 2021 survey by The Harris Poll, 30% of Millennials often or exclusively want to invest in companies that consider ESG factors vs 19% of Gen Z, 16% of Gen X and 2% of Baby Boomers.

Wealthtech is responding to that. For example, Clim8 Invest offers solutions that allow investors to gain exposure to themes which support the UN SDGs.

In addition, the SDGs are also entering financial regulation in the UK, the EU and other jurisdictions.

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), a UN platform, reviews the progress of SDGs annually. The UN SDGs Report provides an annual overview of the world’s implementation efforts.


Useful links

UN Global Compact – SGDs for Business
IISD – The SDG Knowledge Hub
High-Level Political Forum
UN SDGs Report


P27 Team

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A cadre of associates that deliver short consultations and project-based business services to both SMBs and larger businesses. Their expertise includes business change, business development, business planning, digitisation, ESG integration, financial markets, green finance, leadership development, marketing, regionalisation, risk management, valuation and more.
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