Sustainable Finance

Corporate finance and investments as a catalyst for growth and social impact

The UN has estimated that the world will need to invest between $3 trillion and $5 trillion annually to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and the Covid-19 pandemic increased this estimate by an additional $2 trillion annually. CFOs have a critical role to play in reshaping the future of corporate finance and investment into a catalyst for growth, value creation, and social impact.

New and adapted business models and markets represent critical and value-generating investment opportunities for both profit and impact. There is enormous potential to align corporate investments and finance with the SDGs, both to finance business contributions towards the Goals and to build on existing sustainable finance solutions and frameworks to support the transition to net zero and sustainable operations.


In 2022, UN Global Compact launched the CFO Coalition for the SDGs. Established out of the Financial Innovation Action Platform and CFO Taskforce, the Coalition aims to accelerate the progress of corporates in aligning their investments with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and linking corporate finance to relevant and credible SDG targets.

It stems from the recognition that—as stewards of trillions of dollars in corporate investments—CFOs are uniquely positioned to reshape the future of finance and investment for thousands of companies around the world, encompassing all industries and regions, especially less developed areas.

CFO Principles

The CFO Principles on Integrated SDG Investments and Finance, published in September 2020, supplement the UN Global Compact’s 10 Principles. Along with the four principles, guidance is provided to companies as they transition towards sustainable development and seek to mobilise corporate finance and investments to achieve the SDGs.

Principle 1:

SDG impact thesis &

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Principle 2:

Integrated SDG strategy
and investments

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Principle 3:

Integrated SDG corporate

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Principle 4:

Integrated SDG communications
& reporting

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SDG Investment Forum

The SDG Investment Forum series is designed to connect investors seeking to align with the Sustainable Development Goals to responsible businesses and investment opportunities around the world. The UN Global Compact CFO Coalition for the SDGs has organised six SDG Investment Forums in Sao Paulo, Milan, Johannesburg, Paris, New York City, Kuala Lumpur and Sao Paulo for a second time. In 2023 the SDG Investment Forum will take place in Oslo on 6 June.


The UN Global Compact offers many valuable resources on this topic here.


For further information please contact Lily Venables, Governance and SDGs Programme Coordinator