UN Global Compact launches CFO Coalition for the SDGs to drive more private sector investment towards sustainable development

The UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, has announced the launch of the Chief Financial Officers’ Coalition for the SDGs, during its Annual Local Network Forum in Dubai. 

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) in corporate finance and create a market for mainstream SDG investments. It is made up of a CFO Leadership Group which guides the work of the CFO Coalition for the SDGs and a number of Signatories who commit to the CFO Principles on Integrated SDG Investments and Finance.

The UN has estimated that the world will need to spend between $3 trillion and $5 trillion annually to meet the SDGs by 2030, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has increased that estimate by an additional $2 trillion annually.

The CFO Coalition for the SDGs believes that global engagement and collaboration are critical to closing the financial gap needed to meet the SDGs and 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.

Chief Financial Officers in the CFO Leadership Group have the opportunity to both lead or co-lead and participate in specific workstreams and working groups to develop recommendations, frameworks and best practices to guide corporate investments towards the SDGs. Signatories to the CFO Principles on Integrated SDG Investments and Finance have access to the CFO for the SDGs Coalition set of guidance and tools and can participate in events and activities hosted through their UN Global Compact Local Network. 

Speaking during the launch event, Marie Morice, Head of Sustainable Finance and Co-Lead of the CFO Coalition for the SDGs at the UN Global Compact said: 

“Through our new CFO Coalition for the SDGs, we look forward to welcoming new participants who will collaborate with us and support us as we look to create new financial tools and shape policy to move trillions of dollars or private investment towards sustainable development.”

Jerome Lavigne-Delville, Senior Advisor, Sustainable Finance and Co-Lead of the CFO Coalition for the SDGs at the UN Global Compact said:

“CFOs have a leading role to play in setting and aligning sustainability and financial targets. This will not only help us secure a better future but it’s also good business — research increasingly shows companies who commit to sustainability targets regularly outperform those that do not. The CFO Coalition for the SDGs is at the vanguard of a new movement which recognises CFOs as the architects of long-term value creation.”

The 70 CFOs who are part of the CFO Leadership Group have already committed to collectively invest more than $500 billion in support of the SDGs. 

“We are embarking on an incredibly exciting new phase of this initiative as we build the CFO Coalition into a global movement,” said Scott Mather, PIMCO Chief Investment Officer and Co-Chair of the Coalition. “Mobilizing CFOs can create the scale we need to help finance the SDGs, while expanding markets in instruments such as sustainability-linked and SDG Bonds.”

Alberto De Paoli, Chief Financial Officer, Enel Group and co-chair of the CFO Leadership Group said:

“The launch of the CFO Coalition for the SDGs represents a new milestone in our journey, which we began in December 2019 together with a small group of CFOs who shared a vision to boost the integration of sustainability within business operations. With this new phase, we aim to engage thousands of CFOs, to scale up our global community, that will play a critical role in mobilizing trillions in corporate investments to close the financial gap needed to meet the SDGs and create sustainable shared value for all.”

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