Skip to content

SDGs and Investing…This Isn’t Some Tiktok Acronym

At this point, there is NO denying it.  Sustainability is now a word we hear almost as much as we hear Zoom or Pandemic or english royal drama. It even ranked #10 most popular behind “Trade War” in 2020. And rightfully so, as the realization of climate change hits all parts of the world, from Venice Italy’s highest tide in 50 years to towns literally burning down in California. Look at the science. But why is this happening and what’s it got to do with your IRA or 401k?  Well, one reason is the rise of CO2 in the air. The key barometer showing how much CO2 is in the air is called the NOAA Mauna Loa Co2 measure. In 1957, a man by the name of Dave Keeling chose a site high up on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii because he wanted to measure CO2 in air masses that would be representative of much of the Northern Hemisphere and the planet.  Anyone, including my 5 year old, can understand that based upon the chart that fossil fuels continue to burn at a historical rate.  Too much CO2 in the air and it traps the sun’s heat. Too much heat and it causes strange weather phenomena and eventually global warming.   

Enter SDG.  No, not to be confused with some Tiktok slang or when a friend texts you that you look SDG, but the much more important meaning which is Sustainable Development Goals.  These SDG’s (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) are, in a nutshell, the 17 global goals designed to make sure that future generations will have a planet to actually live and breathe on. An image of Matt Damon in the movie “The Martian” should pop into your head at this moment.  These global goals were passed in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly.  If you want to see the full list of 17, take a look at the end of this post.  They are large, ambitious goals that countries around the world agreed are critical for creating a more sustainable future for everyone.

And now comes the juicy part. As an investor, you can now track and see how your specific and unique individual values and goals rank through a free Sustainvest Impact Assessment!  How cool! (you can try it out here). Using Ethos’s new sustainable investing tool, this 3 to 5 minute questionnaire will guide you through selecting what’s most important to you. Care about humane treatment of animals. Check.  How about fair labor practices? Check.  Renewable energy growth? Check.  Once you go through the assessment, you will get a more clear picture when it comes to investing in what you value. 

There are many tools available to understand the impact of your portfolio on the SDGs through this assessment and of course, if you have questions or concerns or want to know how to take that next step to become a sustainable investor, we can help.  No matter what causes you are passionate about, the SDGs can be a great way to think about the impact of your portfolio and join millions of others working towards the same goals.  If only every investor pursued and tracked their own individual goals (like you), perhaps there is some hope for our grandchildren to live like we have. 

To read more about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (noted below) click here.

GOAL 1: No Poverty

GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

GOAL 4: Quality Education

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

GOAL 13: Climate Action

GOAL 14: Life Below Water

GOAL 15: Life on Land

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Sustainvest Asset Management is an independent registered investment advisory firm focused on sustainable and responsible investing and has been 100% dedicated to impact investing since 2013.  We can be reached at