Private investment in areas critical for implementation of the SDGs has to date been vastly insufficient. Additional resources are urgently needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The bulk of the required investment will need to be long-term. The incentives for institutional investors, commercial banks, capital market actors and corporations are driven by shorter time horizons such as dividends or quarterly reporting requirements, that prioritize short-term shareholder value. Shifting a small amount of assets to long-term investment in sustainable development could provide much needed resources for the achievement of the SDGs.  At the industry level, extending performance benchmarks, investment mandates, and corporate board structure are high-impact actions that can be used to unlock investment into sustainable development. 

Focus Area

Incentives of institutional investors: asset owners and asset managers

The financing needs of infrastructure are on average over 20 years. In addition, without a long-term perspective, certain risks, such as climate risks, will not be priced into decision-making. There…

Broader financial system incentives: Banks, rating agencies, and more

The incentives facing institutional investors are aligned with key players in the financial system, including brokers and investment banks, rating agencies, regulators and stock exchanges. To unlock…

Short-term pressures across non-financial corporations

A large proportion of real investment is channelled through non-financial corporations, both manufacturing and services. It is important to both scale up and better align investments by these actors…

Regulatory reform

The more internal firm and industry-level challenges to unlocking private investment for sustainable development are complemented by hurdles imposed by policies and regulations, which need to be…