Johannesburg, 20 October – At their annual meeting with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres yesterday, the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance issued a joint statement outlining concrete actions for the future. Recognized for trailblazing work in sustainable development finance, the group is working with the UN to develop guidelines and products that align the existing finance and investment ecosystem with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Johannesburg Stock Exchange CEO Leila Fourie is the Co-chair of the GISD.
At the Annual Meeting, GISD published its latest investment tool designed to align financing with sustainable development. Through analysis of existing frameworks and corporate responsibility reports, GISD has created a set of sector-specific metrics to accurately measure the impact of companies on sustainable development. The metrics will initially cover 8 industries defined under MSCI’s Global Industry Classification Standard.
“Previous reporting frameworks have largely focused on measuring the impact of company operations on sustainability across industries. Industry-agnostic performance indicators, whilst useful in some applications, tend to fall short in capturing the full sector-specific impact of products and services that companies produce,” said Fourie. “These new sector-specific metrics provide investors with key insights to help them align their financing with sustainable development.”
“Let’s unleash the power of investment to build the sustainable, green and equitable world we need,” Guterres said. “Let’s scale-up public and private investment to help developing countries and sectors achieve net zero to address climate change. Private sector leadership is more important than ever in financing the SDGs and I am grateful to the dedicated members of the GISD Alliance for their commitment to building a better future.”
Since Secretary-General Guterres convened the GISD Alliance in October 2019, its members, CEOs of 30 top global businesses, have produced standards and tools aimed at moving trillions of dollars to bridge the gap in financing needed to realize the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.
GISD has also sprung into action to address crises by developing a COVID Bond Call to Action during 2020. This prompted companies and governments to use innovative social bonds to respond to the pandemic contributing to a sustainable economic recovery.
In the coming months, GISD will launch a net-zero climate Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) and a blended finance fund to provide opportunities for investment in sustainable infrastructure. GISD is also developing a Model Mandate, providing a menu of options to define contractual relationships between asset owners and asset managers, encouraging long-term investment aligned with sustainable development.
“With the upcoming launches of a climate ETF and a blended infrastructure fund, we are moving towards creating real life opportunities to finance the SDGs,” said Oliver Bäte, GISD Co-chair and CEO of Allianz. Yesterday, Allianz wraped up its two-year term as co-chair, with Standard Chartered Chairman José Viñals assuming the role alongside Dr. Fourie.
In its first two years, the GISD Alliance has released other landmark deliverables, such as a common definition of Sustainable Development Investing (SDI) that provides the minimum thresholds that investment strategies should meet to qualify as aligned with sustainable development and a report entitled Renewed, Recharged, and Reinforced with more than 60 recommendations for global action to scale-up investment in the SDGs.
The SDG Navigator is an online tool that provides a structured overview of sustainable finance initiatives. In addition, in collaboration with UNDP, GISD launched the innovative SDG Investment Platform earlier this year, a digital portal that merges economic, demographic financial and project data, enabling investors to easily research opportunities in developing markets.
GISD is working with the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group, COP 26 and G7, as well as engaging with the multilateral development banks, to develop actionable recommendations on ways to scale up private investment for sustainable development.
About Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance:
In 2019, United Nations Secretary-General convened the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance, a group of 30 leaders of the world’s top businesses (see list below), to arrive at solutions that mobilize investment in the SDGs as part of the implementation of his Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The GISD Alliance members – asset owners, asset managers, and non-financial corporations – control assets worth US$16 trillion. The Alliance works with the United Nations and other partners to develop standards, tools and products to align the private sector with the 2030 Agenda and accelerate investment in the SDGs.
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