Volume 02 | November 2020
Director's Note
The past several weeks have been eventful for the SDG Impact team. We achieved several notable milestones and are gearing up for a productive end of the year. Since the last newsletter we have:

  • Launched two sets of Standards for public consultation: We are pleased to have released the initial version of our SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises and the second version of the Standards for Bonds – both open for public consultation through 15 December. Feedback from the industry is an important part of our Standards-development process; please visit our website for more information about the consultation process.

  • Debuted Version 1.0 of the SDG Impact Standards for Private Equity Funds: These Standards are for any type of private equity, debt or venture fund manager (or investor) looking to make a positive contribution to the SDGs. We’re now working closely with our Private Equity Impact Implementation Group to apply the Standards to help us develop guidance and to inform the assurance framework.

  • Shared the design for the SDG Impact Platform: We participated in the second-annual meeting of Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD), in which the GISD Alliance identified SDG investment platforms as key deliverables. We expect to launch the SDG Impact Platform in Q1 2021. 

  • Convened our inspiring Steering Group virtually for its third global meeting to discuss our progress and strategies for 2021. We were greeted with enthusiasm, as Administrator Steiner and others observed that driving momentum toward SDG-enabling investment has never been more critical than it is now. Convening these private-sector impact leaders and visionaries, we updated them on our progress, plans for growing SDG Impact, and providing advisory services to companies and investors in 2021. 

Read more about these developments in my latest blog and in the newsletter below. Please forward the newsletter to others who are interested in our work or in SDG investment generally. We look forward to further engagement in the months ahead.

Warm regards,

Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen
SDG Impact in the Field
In Africa, we presented the Bond Standards at the ESG & Capital Markets Africa virtual conference to issuers and investors with a particular interest in sustainability themed bonds.

Across East, South and West Africa, we have run sessions to introduce the Enterprise Standards to more than 150 listed corporations, businesses associations, exchanges and SME networks operating on the African continent.

Working closely with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), we are presenting the Standards to its African chapters over the course of the next month. This effort is part of a learning series on Impact Management.

In Latin America, we presented the SDG Impact Standards for Private Equity at an Alphamundi event for limited partners within the private equity sector. Maria Tinelli participated in a panel with Lombard Odier Investment Managers—one of the earliest impact funds—and in a Phoenix Capital Group livestream.

In addition, we presented the SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises at a livestreamed event for SMEs and start-ups. 

We are partnering at full speed with Banco Nación Argentina and Banco de Desarrollo Productivo in Bolivia, helping the banks implement and test-drive our SDG Impact Standards for Bonds.
SDG Impact Intelligence
Six country offices in Africa have achieved milestones, among them producing SDG Investor Maps that include investable solutions with strong potential for creating positive social and environmental impact. The maps are based on the latest UNDP-socioeconomic assessments and dozens of in-depth interviews with local investors.

  • The UNDP country office in South Africa finalized its Investor Map, produced in partnership with the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB). The map identifies 30 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs) for investors to create impact, moving the needle toward SDG achievement in four subsectors: Infrastructure, Education, Healthcare, and Food. 

  • The Nigeria country office also completed its SDG Investor Map, produced with technical support from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Optimized for COVID response, the map identifies 21 IOAs in seven sectors, namely: Renewables, Food, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Services, Education and Consumer goods. 

  • SDG Investor Map/COVID-19 Rapid Assessments (including COVID-specific IOAs) were finalized in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Looking ahead, five new countries have been confirmed for SDG Investor Maps in 2021: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malawi, Uruguay, and Jamaica. In all, the team and country offices plan to support 25 countries in producing SDG Investor Maps in 2021. We will report on our progress in this newsletter. 
SDG Impact Facilitation
Investor convenings and policy dialogues 

We have designed virtual events to drive awareness and use of the online platform while also enabling companies and investors to fast-track their SDG-aligned investments. We will host our first in India next week. 

We will join the India country office in launching the SDG Investor Map and assist with matching capital with specific IOAs. The event will include sessions dedicated to IOAs in Education, Health, Financial Services, and Agriculture. Global and regional investors will attend.

The UNDP Country Office in South Africa launched its SDG Investor Map at an event attended by high-level UN and government officials. Investors and stakeholders applauded the map’s concept and the IOAs included in it. CNBC and other major media outlets covered the event.

In Ghana, UNDP co-hosted the Ghana Future of Business Launch on 6 October, with high-level participation of the governments of Ghana and Norway. The UNDP Ghana country office worked with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Business for Peace Foundation to organize the event, which included a preview of the SDG Investor Map. We will convene investors in the country in early 2021. 

SDG Investment Platform

The team is working with a UX design company, Daylight Design, to design the front end, which will offer filters and other convenient ways to research specific IOAs that emerge from SDG Impact Intelligence and with a developer who will build the back end. The Platform will be live in Q1 2021 with data from the SDG investor Maps
SDG Impact Management
We were thrilled to share the first public consultation draft of the UNDP SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises and the second version of the draft of the Standards for Bonds, both of which are open for comment until 15 December 2020.

  • The Standards apply to all Enterprises and Issuers – irrespective of size, geography or sector – that are looking to make a positive contribution to the SDGs. We welcome participation in the consultation process and want to hear from you! Visit our website for more information on how to participate in the consultation.

  • To facilitate feedback, we are also hosting a public webinar on 1 December. Click here to register. 

The release of the latest drafts of these Standards followed hot on the heels of the newly launched Version 1.0 of the Standards for Private Equity Funds. These Standards have gone through two rounds of public consultations and have generated enormous interest in the industry.

  • We are hard at work developing further guidance on the Standards and building an assurance model that recognizes and supports the progressive nature of meeting the best practices outlined in the Standards. To support our efforts, we are collaborating with a working group of more than 20 Private Equity Funds. We will share details as we progress.

The SDG Impact Standards are not just another reporting framework. They provide practical guidance on building an impact management system that is aligned with contributing to achievement of the SDGs. We encourage all organizations that would like to invest in fulfilling the SDGs to engage with the Standards.

Let us know what you think!
SDG Impact in the News
With so much fast-paced, high-level activity, we have generated several headlines and have started receiving attention for our efforts. Some of the articles about our efforts include the following:

UNDP Website

SDG Business Hub


Environmental Finance

CNBC Africa

Pioneers Post

Carol Adams’ Website