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New Campaign Aims to Leverage Private Investment Capital to Help Achieve SDGs

Images credit: United NationsGlobal Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

A new campaign is calling on investors and money managers everywhere to make their investments part of a “tremendous force for good in effecting positive change.” Launched by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the campaign asks investors and money managers to commit capital to impact investing efforts aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or Global Goals) agreed upon by the United Nations roughly one year ago.

“Impact investing is no longer just a feel-good footnote to an investor’s portfolio. Nine years on from when the term was coined, impact investing has become a vibrant industry, offering proven financial returns and demonstrable social and environmental progress,” GIIN CEO Amit Bouri wrote in a blog post on the announcement.

In addition to the call to action, the GIIN is publishing a series of investor profiles to highlight successes of the impact investing industry. The profiles illustrate the benefits for investors aligning with the SDGs through the examples of leading impact investors who have already done so and have made headway in addressing many of the very important global issues covered by the 17 goals.

“We are delighted to showcase select impact investors, who demonstrate both the power of impact investing to change our world and the benefits to impact investors to align their goals with the SDGs,” Bouri said in a statement.

A report compiled by the GIIN and Cambridge Associates found that private impact-focused funds had returns that were comparable to non-impact-focused funds, and 90 percent of respondents to the GIIN’s Annual Impact Investor Survey, published earlier this year, said their returns met or exceeded financial expectations. Even some of the world's largest financial institutions, such as Bank of America and Dutch pension manage PGGM, have begun impact investing programs. Bouri insists that there is “no better industry ready to answer the U.N.’s call to the private sector in helping make the SDGs a reality.” At the same time, the ambitious targets and timeframe of the Global Goals necessitate a “monumental effort” and surge of collective action.

The GIIN, which is a nonprofit organization that manages a membership of over 220 impact investing organizations across 33 countries, says it wants to ensure that the financial industry does not remain on the sidelines as the world strives to meet these important goals.

“We support the United Nations in recognizing the critical role of the private sector in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Bouri. “If sufficient investment capital can be channeled to these goal areas through impact investing, the SDGs are achievable. We need more of the world’s investors to join in this world-changing initiative if we’re going to make the SDGs a reality. There’s no time to waste.”

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