Since the United Nation established its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there has never been greater drive for "doing well by doing good."
But when it comes to private investment, what does this really mean? Can private investors effect genuine change through sustainable or "impact investing"? And if so, can investors still expect solid returns?
Sergio Ermotti, UBS chief executive, leads the interrogation of this challenge and his response is an emphatic "yes".
"Today's investors want to see a positive impact on society and the environment as well as solid financial returns" says Ermotti, "And the SDGs present a critical opportunity to promote sustainable growth for all."
UBS has committed to directing $5 billion of client money over the next five years into impact investments related to the UN SDGs. Impact investing aims to generate an additive, measurable social or environmental impact in addition to a compelling return. This "double bottom line" approach is particularly attractive to clients.
Global research supports UBS' position: Super-wealthy millennials are putting more than 60 percent of their income into impact investing, according to the Global Family Office Report, Campden Wealth, in association with UBS.