UN Global Compact calls on businesses to align corporate investment with SDG policies and strategies

Oslo, Norway, June 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chief Financial Officers, sustainability experts and investors from across Europe gathered at the annual SDG Investment Forum held in Oslo today to exchange views on how corporate investments and finance can best contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The private sector has a crucial role to play in bridging the financing gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. While private capital is abundant, only a small share is aligned with the Goals. With more than $17 trillion in annual investments in capital expenditures, companies and CFOs are key players in the sustainability transition of the global economy. 

Speaking during the event, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, called on the 18,000 participating companies of the UN Global Compact to raise their level of ambition by taking tangible and accountable actions:

“We are calling on every company in the UN Global Compact to align corporate investment — to the fullest extent possible — with SDG policies and strategies, and set targets, track and report on the amount and proportion of such SDG-aligned investments. We also want all committers to establish a corporate financing strategy that is linked to SDG investments and performance, and report on the amount and proportion of such SDG-linked finance. Wherever companies are in their sustainability journey, we are here to help them progress.”

The new sustainable finance targets are underpinned by research from the paper “Corporate Investment and Finance for Sustainable Finance” showcased during the event following the pioneering work undertaken by the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce. When it launched in 2019, the CFO Taskforce had three main goals:

  • To engage CFOs worldwide;
  • To integrate the Sustainable Development Goals within corporate strategy and investments, financing, and investor relations; and 
  • To create a broad and credible market for sustainable finance. 

Rebranded as the CFO Coalition for the SDGs in 2022 to accelerate its ambition, it now aims to:

  • Leverage credible commitments from CFOs in the Coalition to direct trillions of corporate investments towards the SDGs and create a $10 trillion market for SDG-directed finance by 2030.
  • Expand the CFO Leadership Group from 70 participants to 100 by 2022.
  • Foster a community of 1,000 CFO Signatories to the CFO Principles on Integrated SDG Investments and Finance by 2024.

CFOs in the Coalition have already made $108 billion in SDG-aligned investments and are committed to investing $500 billion until 2025 with close to 50 per cent of all corporate financing represented by sustainable financing instruments. This is in addition to the continuous focus on disseminating best practices on thematic SDG-aligned investments and increasing awareness on the pivotal role of CFOs for business transition.

Alberto De Paoli, CFO of Enel and Co-Chair of the CFO Coalition for the SDGs spoke about how important it is that companies invest and finance towards the SDGs during the event: “SDG-linked metrics are essential in order to reinforce the necessity of corporates to become even more sustainable. All stakeholders need to understand that through sustainability we are able to achieve better and more predictable financial results while minimizing risks and taking advantage of the opportunities emerging from the energy transition. The soul of this coalition is to generate clear commitments and traceable targets in order to monitor action towards SDGs — a purpose that becomes even more valuable in this stock take year — and that can leverage on the uniqueness of having a working group constituted by CFOs as well as our ability to create and disclose credible numbers and indicators.”

Speakers at this event include Øivind Amundsen, CEO, Oslo Stock Exchange; Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact; Alberto de Paoli, CFO, ENEL and Co-Chair of the CFO Coalition for the SDGs; Kim Gabrielli, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Local Network Norway; Henrik Frisell, CFO, Nortura; Luca Passa, CFO, Snam; Massimiliano Riva, Principal Green Climate Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Nate Aden, Finance Sector Lead, Science-Based Targets initiative;  Silje Njå Bertelsen, Senior Investment Advisor, Grieg Investo; Karin Svensson, Coordinator of the FfD, SIDA; Maria Carrasco, CFO, FCC Construccion and Fabrizio Palmucci, Senior Advisor, Climate Bonds Initiatives. 

Notes to Editors

About the UN Global Compact

As a special initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call to companies worldwide to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 18,000 companies and 3,800 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 62 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.

About the CFO Coalition for the SDGs

The CFO Coalition for the SDGs is a platform where global CFOs and other corporate officers can collaborate with peers, investors, financial institutions and UN agencies to develop principles, frameworks and recommendations to integrate the sustainable development goals (SDGs) into corporate finance and create a market for mainstream SDG investments. For more information, visit cfocoalition.org


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