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Reorienting the flow of capital to accelerate the economy’s transition toward long-term sustainable development.
Finance is instrumental to the SDGs. The financial system helps to mobilise and pool savings and investments, as it provides payment services that facilitate the exchange of goods and services, helps to diversify, transform and manage risk, and supports the creation of new jobs and enterprises. Recent years have revealed a large range of vulnerabilities and weaknesses surrounding our current financial system. We have experienced how fragility of financial markets can rapidly spread to the wider economy and negatively impact sustainable development.
Although the world economy is highly decentralised and operates among millions of enterprises all over the world, financial resources are concentrated and managed by a much smaller number of financial intermediaries. This makes financial institutions key decision makers in the allocation of resources. In addition, financial institutions are well-positioned to influence companies’ long-term performance through effective stewardship that promotes positive change. These institutions, therefore, have a distinct role in the global economy when it comes to allocating and managing resources in support of the 2030 Agenda.
Scaling up and redirecting private capital towards the SDGs and climate investments through bond markets, public equity markets, bank lending and direct investments in projects and companies can contribute to closing this gap, benefiting all 17 SDGs:
Aviva is one of the world’s largest insurance and asset management companies, its history tracing back more than 300 years. It has operations in 16 markets around the world, but through its investment portfolio, Aviva’s reach extends to a broader and larger group of consumers. The company is a LEAD member of the Global Compact; a founding member of both the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative. It is also a frontrunner in responsible investments, using its influence to support more sustainable business and ultimately a more sustainable economy and society. Aviva is an active contributor and user of different corporate sustainability benchmarks, including a founding member of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. Aviva’s CEO Mark Wilson is a member of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) and is personally committed to driving forward the sustainable development agenda and the creation of the WBA.
The Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable, inclusive economy. Its flagship report Better Business, Better World, launched in January 2017, maps the economic prize for companies that align with the SDGs, and shows how to achieve them. The report includes the creation of SDGs benchmarks as one of the key recommendations. The Business Commission aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable and inclusive economy, if the UN Sustainable Development Goals are achieved. In its flagship report, Better Business, Better World, the Commission describes how business can contribute to delivering these goals. Chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, the Commission include 37 leaders from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations from around the world.p>
Index Initiative is a centre of expertise in benchmarking corporate performance against stakeholder expectations. It seeks to propel the use of benchmarks to engage and bring purpose and clarity on the role of companies in contributing to the SDGs closest to their core business. A non-profit based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Index Initiative’s research and benchmarks are free and accessible to all. Index Initiative will conduct the global consultation on the World Benchmarking Alliance.
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors.