Volume 03 | December 2020
Director's Note
Greetings of the season! Thank you for your contributions and support throughout the very busy fall months. 

You have made it possible for us to celebrate the culmination of several initiatives we began just after launching SDG Impact two years ago. This includes achieving important milestones in developing the SDG Impact Standards for Private Equity Funds, SDG Bonds, and Enterprises. We are particularly grateful for your feedback and engagement during the latest consultation period on the new Enterprise Standards and the second consultation draft of the Bond Standards, both of which ended on December 15. We are organizing the feedback and will soon share it on our website and in this newsletter. Final Bond Standards will be available early in the first quarter of 2021.

We have introduced new activities—such as webinars and virtual facilitation events—to engage with and better understand the perspectives of investors, funds, financial institutions, impact-management consultants, and others as we evolve our Standards and SDG Impact Investor Maps. If you are on this newsletter list, you will receive invitations to attend similar events in the new year. 

In 2021, we will also usher in a new, interactive platform that investors, companies, and impact-driven organizations will be able to use to research Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) and business models that respond directly to SDG-related needs at the country level. Expected to launch in the first quarter of 2021, the platform will enable you to filter search results by country and industry sector, so that you can target your area of investment or business interest. You can preview some of the SDG Impact Investor Maps—containing the IOAs—by clicking on the map images displayed on our website, here. And read “SDG Impact Facilitation,” below, to learn about our two virtual map launches in India and Nigeria. 

There are many more updates in the newsletter below. Kindly forward it to others who are interested in joining our efforts to make positive contributions to achieving the SDGs. Wishing you a peaceful holiday season. 

Warm regards,

Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen
SDG Impact in the Field
In Africa, the SDG Impact team has made strides in convening networks and impact experts alike. In the process, we gained feedback into how to promote and facilitate adoption of our three sets of SDG Impact Standards. Kudos to the Africa team for its long list of accomplishments; they have…
  • Conducted five broad-based consultation sessions on the SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises with more than 150 enterprises, consultants, and investors.
  • Met with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and the SEED networks in Eastern, Western & Southern Africa. Their extensive, supportive outreach to small and growing businesses across Africa makes them key partners for us in recruiting small businesses interested in applying the Standards for Enterprises. 
  • Presented the Standards at the Ocean Innovation Africa conference. Hundreds of entrepreneurs and organizations from across the continent joined the conference to help mobilize the private sector in addressing SDG 14.*

In Latin America, the team gained momentum toward adoption of the SDG Bond Standards by closely collaborating with several sovereigns to implement the Standards. Across the continent, banks, PE Funds and enterprises have also enthusiastically engaged with SDG Impact through multiple consultation events. Here are more specifics on activities in Latin America during the past month:
  • We’re thrilled to announce that the first bond to align with our Standards for SDG Bonds was launched in Latin America. The bond issuers include Pacific Corporate Sustainability (PCS), a company of the Pacific Credit Rating (PCR) Group, and Vinte Mexico. Proceeds from the bond will support sustainable real estate and affordable housing. Read about it here (in Spanish).
  • In another joint effort with PCS Latin America, our team is co-hosting a webinar on all three sets of SDG Standards on January 18, 2021. Kindly email Maria Tinelli if you’re interested.
  • We heartily thank the members of our Latin American Working Group on the Standards for SDG Bonds: BICE Argentina, BDP Bolivia, Banco Nación Argentina, and Vinte Mexico—all have participated enthusiastically. They contributed valuable comments during the latest rounds of public consultation on the Standards for Enterprises and for SDG Bonds.

* SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
SDG Impact Intelligence
The team has had an incredibly productive month, completing workshops and maps, among these key accomplishments:
  • Working with UNDP country offices, the team has finalized COVID-19 rapid assessments in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ghana. We will share the reports on the SDG Impact website quite soon and will share the link in this newsletter.
  • We completed an IOA workshop in Paraguay. An extended team of UNDP experts created a shortlist of business ideas with potential to address the SDG-related needs in the country. Next, we will pressure-test and refine the ideas by conducting in-depth interviews with private sector investors and companies; we’ll incorporate the feedback and finalize the Map for Paraguay in the coming weeks.
  • New investor maps are under way in Tunisia, Indonesia, Namibia, and Malawi. Stay tuned to learn about the facilitation events we will host to finalize the maps.
SDG Impact Facilitation
Results from our investor convenings and policy dialogues: 

  • We have launched an SDG Impact Guide for Country Offices to conduct Virtual Investor Convenings, empowering offices to produce their own events. 
  • In India, we co-hosted a virtual meeting of businesses and investors to discuss the IOAs in the country’s SDG Investor Map. The event had 177 attendees who talked about 18 IOAs in six key sectors: education, healthcare, agriculture, renewable energy, financial services and waste-management. 
  • About 80 participants from the private and public sector attended Nigeria’s virtual convening on December 8. We hosted sessions geared for groups of investors, companies, and government officials who specialize in one of the sectors addressed in the Map—such as renewable energy, agriculture, and healthcare. The event was well received, and we’re grateful to the participants.
  • The team is planning 25 Facilitation events in 2021. Read more about our Facilitation events here.

Update on the SDG Investment Platform:

Watch for the launch of our new Platform, which will feature filters and other convenient ways to research IOAs that emerge from our market intelligence. The team has been working with Daylight Design, a UX design company, to create a user-friendly front-end experience. We expect the Platform to go live during the first quarter of 2021. 
Temperature-sensing robots telling men's temperatures
SDG Impact Management
The first public consultation draft of the SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises and the second version of the draft Standards for Bonds closed for public comment on December 15. Stakeholder input is key to the Standards-development process. As soon as we gather and organize the feedback, we will share it on the Standards section of our website. Here is more information on our consultation process and recent activities:

  • See our website to learn how we conducted the public consultation process for Enterprises and Bonds.
  • If you missed our recent online events, you can watch a recording of one of the webinars here (please note the passcode: iKM826.W).  
  • As part of the public consultation process, we’re working with a number of bond issuers and investment managers to pilot the Bond Standards. In addition to detailed feedback, the working group will help us outline the SDG Impact guidance and assurance framework
  • We will hold a similar working group for the second consultation for Enterprises early in 2021. Be in touch via email if you or any enterprise you know would like to participate.

In addition to holding (virtual) global consultations on the Enterprise and Bond Standards, we’ve wrapped up a successful working group on the Standards for Private Equity Funds. We convened a group of more than 20 asset managers to conduct self-assessments for specific funds against this set of Standards. The working group shared valuable opinions on the infrastructure we’re building to support the Standards. We’ll keep you informed in the months ahead.

The working group also…

  • Demonstrated the applicability of the Standards to all types of funds in the private equity, private debt, and venture capital spaces. Members of the group included representatives of funds ranging from $1 billion+ global PE funds to smaller private debt funds focused on one sector in one geography. Some funds were self-declared impact funds, but all funds had declared a strategic focus on contributing positively to the SDGs.
  • Highlighted how valuable the self-assessment process was for participants. One PE working group participant remarked, “Using the SDG Impact Standards as a self-assessment tool has been incredibly helpful in identifying next steps and priorities for us as we build out our IMM systems."

As we work to finalize the assurance framework, we encourage fund managers to use the Standards for Private Equity as a self-assessment guide as you build out your impact-management systems.
SDG Impact in the News
SDG Impact and other private sector initiatives to spur investment in SDG achievement continue to generate attention in the worldwide news media. Some of the headlines include the following:

Environmental Finance

Pioneers Post

Economist Namibia

Malaysia Kini

Invest India Blog


Wall Street Journal

Financial Times



The Sunday Times

Money Marketing UK

Stanford Social Innovation Review

La repubblica [In Italian]

Real Assets

The Globe & Mail