The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present a major investment opportunity along with a means of improving life for millions. But do you know enough about them? And could you explain to someone how the goals can be targeted to seek returns while also helping others?
To answer the many questions that financial professionals may have about the 17 SDGs and investing in them, Robeco has created its third educational module in the ‘Essentials’ series – the Essentials of the SDGs.
Its six chapters explain everything you need to know about the goals as a concept and an investment opportunity, with a test at the end to enhance the learning experience. The module is delivered using clear language, charts, videos and case studies. For those interested, passing this test can be used as part of Continuous Professional Development (CPD), which is recognized by the major certification bodies such as the CII, CISI, FPA, IBF and FPSB.1
So, why now the SDGs? This major initiative launched by the UN in 2015 has since attracted billions of investment capital into strategies that target one or more of the goals. The SDGs themselves range from ending poverty and inequality, to combatting climate change, making industrial and agricultural production more sustainable, and improving global health and well-being.
They present major business opportunities because companies produce goods and services that can contribute to the SDGs, both positively and negatively. Investors use models to assess what these contributions are. As it is vital to measure the impact that is actually being made on the ground, it is important to understand which assumptions and metrics are included in different models.
Once the assessments are completed, asset managers including Robeco have created strategies that make it possible to invest in these companies. This can be done through equity or credits portfolios that target the SDGs themselves, or more thematic strategies that target a related theme, such as renewable energy. Green bonds are another important investment avenue.
Essentials modules always include case studies showing how it is done in real life. Examples include investments in projects to improve people’s lives in sub-Saharan Africa, replacing fossil fuel production with renewable energy, and using active ownership to engage with companies to raise food standards.
It’s a fascinating subject – so if you’re still in the dark about this growing investment opportunity, take the course now.
1The CFA Institute allows its members the ability to self-determine and self-report professional learning credits earned from external sources. CFA Institute members are encouraged to self-document such credits in their online PL tracker.
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