SRI Investors & the SDG’s

There is only one possible future for humanity, and that is a sustainable one.
— Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The SDG’s, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets, provide a way to understand and measure investors’ real-world impact. It’s a way for socially responsible investors to demonstrate how incorporating such issues as climate change, limiting war making capabilities, and working conditions into their investment approach are contributing to a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world that we want to leave to future generations.

Companies around the world are moving towards more sustainable business practices. Providing services and products that align with this newly emerging paradigm rooted in progressing humanity and taking care of the Earth. This shift is presenting investors with new investment opportunities across many asset classes; clean technology stocks in listed equity, private equity and venture capital, low-carbon infrastructure, green bonds, green real estate, sustainable forestry and agriculture. The long-term implications the SDG’s foster equate to relieving the burdens that unsustainable growth models have placed on society and nurturing humanity’s relationship with the Earth and its resources. The SDG’s offer a clear and measurable level of participation in a global effort to maintain and progress the health of humanity as a whole.

The United Nations & the SDG’s

“This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.” - Preamble as stated by Representatives of the United Nations, 2015

The goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet: The example below briefly shows the depth of the targets and how the impact is translated by the SDG’s.

E_INVERTED SDG goals_icons-individual-RGB-14.png

SDG 14

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. The increasingly adverse impacts of climate change (including ocean acidification), overfishing and marine pollution are jeopardizing recent gains in protecting portions of the world’s oceans.

Investing & the Ocean-Based Blue Economy

An ocean-based blue economy can include diverse components, from established ocean industries, such as fisheries, tourism and maritime transport, to emerging and new activities, such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, deep seabed extractive activities (where sustainable), and marine biotechnology. The mix of activities will depend on each country’s unique national circumstances, but will go beyond business as usual by providing social and economic benefits for current and future generations; restoring, protecting and maintaining the diversity, productivity, resilience, core functions, and intrinsic value of marine ecosystems; and being based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows.

Making Progress through Targets

Each of the Ocean Conference voluntary commitments addresses one or several of the SDG 14 targets, often with associated positive impact on other SDGs, including for example SDG 3 on good health and well-being and SDG13 on climate action, among others.

Each community is coordinated by designated focal points who work together with United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in carrying out the activities.


The nine Communities of Ocean Action are:

  1. Coral reefs

  2. Implementation of international law as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

  3. Mangroves

  4. Marine and coastal ecosystems management

  5. Marine pollution

  6. Ocean acidification

  7. Scientific knowledge, research capacity development and transfer of marine technology

  8. Sustainable blue economy

  9. Sustainable fisheries

When an investor’s assets are invested in any of the nine communities of ocean action to make a positive change - the guidance of the SDG’s has served its purpose and the contribution is documented. Through the fulfillment of targets and recording the SDG’s progress - the goal of conservation, sustainability, and protecting our oceans is fulfilling its role as SDG 14. The goals are all connected, so while SDG14 was the focus, other SDG’s such as SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy, see contributions as well.

The Measurable Impact of the SDG’s from the year 2000 to 2015, and the targets for 2030 - Numbers in Action

SRI Investing helps progressively-minded people and organizations develop healthy relationships with money and invest in ways that contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.
— Our Mission, Gary R. Matthews