When it formally adopted its new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September, the United Nations might as well have given them a subtitle - sustainable investment goals.
According to a working paper prepared for the UN, these new 2030 development targets will require $2 trillion-$3 trillion in new investment annually - at least a tenth of the $22 trillion that the world stashes away in savings every year, according to the UN paper. In 2016 and beyond, financial institutions have an unprecedented chance to market associated opportunities to savers and investors and channel more money towards meeting the objectives.
The SDGs represent 17 broad aims in areas ranging from healthcare and education to poverty and the environment. For instance, the 10th goal is simply to "reduce inequality within and among countries." But there are also 169 more specific underlying targets - for example, "By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education." For financial institutions, both types of objective lend themselves to properly managed, globally diversified portfolios.