Are these the solutions to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?

Dive into the critical factors needed to accelerate progress towards tackling the SDGs.

21 Jan 2019

We believe that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be reached until:

  1. People are more aware of the SDGs
  2. Sustainability is easier to understand
  3. There are more solutions that enable the public to make a real contribution to people and planet.

UBS outlines eight potential solutions on how to improve the sustainable investing, giving, and consumption ecosystems to mobilize greater support for tackling world's most urgent challenges.

Did you know?

The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 Global Goals set by the United Nations to address environmental, economic, and social imbalances. The goals aim to eradicate poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, while promoting global prosperity, peace and justice.



Sustainability in action

Which SDG challenge do you think we should focus on first?

Poll Form

Sunny Varkey, Founder of the
Varkey Foundation

“Knowing what works and what doesn’t is central to sustainable giving. Looking through my own lens of education, measures that sound attractive (such as donating laptops in countries with intermittent electricity supply and sparse broadband coverage) may not actually be effective.

Basic well-evidenced measures, such as simply providing a meal to children at school, can be far more impactful.

And if focused correctly, philanthropy can accomplish goals that governments find difficult to for structural reasons. Being insulated from the electoral cycle, philanthropists can fund change over many decades. This long-term approach has been shown to be instrumental to success.

In a Harvard Business Review analysis of 15 social-change movements, nearly 90% of historically successful social-change efforts were found to have taken more than 20 years."

The full story is available in the WEF 2019 paper

Jim Yong Kim, President of the
World Bank Group

"We are witnessing an enormous transformation in the world today. Crises such as climate change, fragility, and underinvestment in human capital will require resources far beyond the limits of public aid. 

At the same time, rising aspirations everywhere are adding urgency to our development work and our mission to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity around the world.

The private sector is an increasingly important partner in that effort – from building climate - smart infrastructure to providing access to quality healthcare and education to stopping pandemics and preventing famines before they occur.

Every day, there are new opportunities to leverage disruptive technologies and new business models to solve the world’s most difficult challenges."

The full story is available in the WEF 2019 paper


How can we all build a more sustainable world?

Only together can we tackle the world's most urgent challenges and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Without a greater commitment on the part of all parties involved, the 2030 deadline to tackle the SDGs will pass with large swathes of the world’s population continuing to face hardship.

UBS is working with other institutions to create innovative sustainable investment and philanthropic solutions that can help private and institutional clients achieve their financial and societal objectives. But there’s much more to do. Consider our proposals for bringing sustainability to the mainstream, and let’s work together to achieve the SDGs and build a better world.

Make your first contribution by spreading awareness today.

Read the full report by UBS


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What do you know about sustainable investing?

Test your knowledge in our sustainable investing quiz.

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Important Information about Sustainable Investing Strategies:

Incorporating ESG factors or Sustainable Investing considerations may inhibit the portfolio manager’s ability to participate in certain investment opportunities that otherwise would be consistent with its investment objective and other principal investment strategies. The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of ESG or sustainable investments may be lower than a portfolio where such factors are not considered by the portfolio manager. Because sustainability criteria can exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria. Companies may not necessarily meet high performance standards on all aspects of ESG or sustainable investing issues; there is also no guarantee that any company will meet expectations in connection with corporate responsibility, sustainability, and/or impact performance. 

ESG/Sustainable Investing Considerations

Sustainable investing strategies aim to consider and in some instances integrate the analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the investment process and portfolio. Strategies across geographies and styles approach ESG analysis and incorporate the findings in a variety of ways. Incorporating ESG factors or Sustainable Investing considerations may inhibit the portfolio manager’s ability to participate in certain investment opportunities that otherwise would be consistent with its investment objective and other principal investment strategies. The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of ESG or sustainable investments may be lower or higher than a portfolio where such factors are not considered by the portfolio manager. Because sustainability criteria can exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria. Companies may not necessarily meet high performance standards on all aspects of ESG or sustainable investing issues; there is also no guarantee that any company will meet expectations in connection with corporate responsibility, sustainability, and/or impact performance.

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