Sustainable Investing: Examining the Impacts of Economic Sectors on the UN’s SDGs through Evidence-Based Review Methods

Using scientific principles to create a strategy for investing in sector-level Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In recent years, investors have been increasingly focused on aligning their investments with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, evaluating the impact of corporations on these goals has proven challenging due to a lack of depth and transparency in current efforts. In response, a new evidence-based review method has been proposed to assess sector-level impacts on individual SDGs.

The authors of this study assign scores using a traffic-light system, analyzing the impacts of 81 economic sectors on SDGs 1-16. The results reveal that many economic sectors have a negative impact on environmental SDGs, with primary sector activities impacting the highest number of SDGs.

To further explore these findings, the authors use Causal Loop methodology as a case study for the agricultural sector. Their research highlights the interconnectedness of SDGs and the importance of understanding ‘impact shadows’, or how one goal can influence others. Additionally, they emphasize the hierarchical nature of sustainable development objectives and how different sectors can contribute to multiple goals.

Overall, this study underscores the need for investors to consider the broader effects of their investments on sustainable development objectives. By taking into account how different sectors influence multiple goals, investors can make more informed and responsible decisions that contribute to sustainable development objectives.

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