30 Oct 2019

Sustainable Development Goals - Finding the funds to make an impact

Caroline Edey van Wyk

Digital content specialist

Fani Titi, Investec CEO is one of only two South Africans to join a group of global leaders tasked with freeing up trillions of dollars from the private sector to finance the Sustainable Development Goals. The move comes amidst a growing recognition in the corporate community that the continued success of their companies is inextricably linked to a sustainable future.

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Fani Titi joins CEO Alliance
Fani Titi, Investec CEO

I chose to join the CEO Alliance because I know what it's like to grow up in abject poverty and I care about bettering the lives of people and the health of our planet.

Addressing the finance shortfall to implement the 2030 agenda

The UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lays out a vision for reconciling the imperative of global economic growth with the urgent need to secure the continued sustainability of human life on earth. The stakes could not be higher. But realising this vision will require massive investment. To date, funds allocated to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have fallen short of what's needed. It's clear that public finance will not suffice: the private sector must step in, or the current shortfall will persist.

"We need bold action by private sector trailblazers," says Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General. 

As part of his roadmap for financing the 2030 Agenda, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres convened the first meeting of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance on 16 October. The business leaders appointed to this panel are tasked with a singular challenge: how escape the trap of chasing short-term returns and unlock essential funding for the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Watch this video and understand Investec's approach to furthering the Sustainable Development Goals.
Watch this video and understand Investec's approach to furthering the Sustainable Development Goals.
The GISD members

Members include institutional investors, banks, manufacturing corporations and technology service providers. This group of 30 business leaders from across the globe will work together, harnessing their insights to advise on removing impediments and implementing solutions for scaling up long-term investment for sustainable development.

COMPANY COUNTRY GISD REPRESENTATIVE
Allianz SE Germany Mr. Oliver Bäte, CEO
APG Netherlands Mr. Ronald Wuijster, CEO
Aviva U.K. Mr. Maurice Tulloch, CEO
Banco Santander Spain Ms. Ana Botin, Group Exec. Chairman
Bancolombia Colombia Mr. Juan Carlos Mora Uribe, CEO
Bank of America USA Mr. Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Canada Mr. Michael Sabia, President & CEO
California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) USA Ms. Marcie Frost, CEO
CIMB Malaysia Mr. Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO & ED
Citigroup USA Mr. Michael Corbat, CEO
Consejo Mexicano de Negocios Mexico Mr. Antonio Del Valle Perochena, President
Eaux Minerales d’Oulmes Morocco Mrs. Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, CEO
Emirates Environmental Group UAE Ms. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Co-Founder & Chairperson
Enel S.p.A Italy Mr. Francesco Starace, CEO & GM
First State Super Australia Ms. Deanne Stewart, CEO
Government Pension Investment Fund Japan Mr. Hiro Mizuno, Exec. MD & Chief Investment Officer
ICBC China Mr. Shu Gu, President & ED
Infosys India Mr. Salil Parekh, CEO & MD
Investec Group South Africa Mr. Fani Titi, Co CEO
Johannesburg Stock Exchange South Africa Ms. Leila Fourie, CEO
Nuveen USA Mr. Vijay Advani, CEO
Pal Pensions Nigeria TBC*
PIMCO USA Mr. Emmanuel Roman, CEO
Safaricom Kenya Mr. Michael Joseph, CEO a.i.
Sintesa Group Indonesia Ms. Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, CEO
Standard Chartered U.K. Mr. José Viñals, Group Chairman
SulAmerica Brazil Mr. Patrick Antonio Claude de Larragoiti Lucas, Chairman
Swedish Investors for Sustainable Development Sweden Mr. Richard Gröttheim, CEO, AP7
TDC Group A/S Denmark Ms. Allison Kirkby, Pres. & Group CEO
UBS Group AG Switzerland Mr. Sergio P. Ermotti, Group CEO
COMPANY COUNTRY GISD REPRESENTATIVE
Allianz SE Germany Mr. Oliver Bäte, CEO
APG Netherlands Mr. Ronald Wuijster, CEO
Aviva U.K. Mr. Maurice Tulloch, CEO
Banco Santander Spain Ms. Ana Botin, Group Exec. Chairman
Bancolombia Colombia Mr. Juan Carlos Mora Uribe, CEO
Bank of America USA Mr. Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Canada Mr. Michael Sabia, President & CEO
California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) USA Ms. Marcie Frost, CEO
CIMB Malaysia Mr. Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO & ED
Citigroup USA Mr. Michael Corbat, CEO
Consejo Mexicano de Negocios Mexico Mr. Antonio Del Valle Perochena, President
Eaux Minerales d’Oulmes Morocco Mrs. Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, CEO
Emirates Environmental Group UAE Ms. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Co-Founder & Chairperson
Enel S.p.A Italy Mr. Francesco Starace, CEO & GM
First State Super Australia Ms. Deanne Stewart, CEO
Government Pension Investment Fund Japan Mr. Hiro Mizuno, Exec. MD & Chief Investment Officer
ICBC China Mr. Shu Gu, President & ED
Infosys India Mr. Salil Parekh, CEO & MD
Investec Group South Africa Mr. Fani Titi, Co CEO
Johannesburg Stock Exchange South Africa Ms. Leila Fourie, CEO
Nuveen USA Mr. Vijay Advani, CEO
Pal Pensions Nigeria TBC*
PIMCO USA Mr. Emmanuel Roman, CEO
Safaricom Kenya Mr. Michael Joseph, CEO a.i.
Sintesa Group Indonesia Ms. Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, CEO
Standard Chartered U.K. Mr. José Viñals, Group Chairman
SulAmerica Brazil Mr. Patrick Antonio Claude de Larragoiti Lucas, Chairman
Swedish Investors for Sustainable Development Sweden Mr. Richard Gröttheim, CEO, AP7
TDC Group A/S Denmark Ms. Allison Kirkby, Pres. & Group CEO
UBS Group AG Switzerland Mr. Sergio P. Ermotti, Group CEO
We are running out of time

For at least the last four years since the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted, it's widely accepted that achieving their aims will be indispensable to the future of the earth and its peoples. What wasn't fully appreciated was the urgency needed in reaching them. A report backed by the world’s major climate science bodies, and released ahead of the UN Climate action summit in September, states climate is changing faster than forecast, and current plans would lead to ‘catastrophic’ global temperature rise. 

 

From extremes in temperatures to melting arctic ice to widening inequality, Guterres says time is of the essence and the need for international cooperation is unprecedented. He acknowledges that financing sustainable development is going to be tough, with estimated funding going into trillions of dollars per year towards health, education, climate action, and infrastructure. 

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, July was officially the hottest month on record, since record-keeping began 140 years ago. WMO also warns that the last time we saw global CO2 at levels recorded this year, was three to five million years ago. Then the planet looked very different from the beautiful shapes of green and blue, now synonymous with earth and life. They estimate that the sea level was ten to twenty metres higher, and the globe was two to three degrees hotter. 

 

It's against this backdrop that the need for global cooperation becomes acute. The Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) have a mere two years in which to come up with some actionable recommendations- and really, their work couldn't be more timeous or critical. 

45%
Percentage by which emissions need to be cut
2030
Deadline for countries to reach goal
Investec's strategy to maximise its contribution to the SDGs

Investec has chosen to prioritise six of the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals. "This decision was based on our business strategy to 'not be all things to all people' and we feel that honing in on areas that align with our business model and future growth strategy, maximises our overall impact," says Tanya dos Santos, Investec's global Sustainability head. 

 

Dos Santos goes on to explain that financing innovative solutions that enable access to clean water and affordable energy as well as providing access to quality education are all vital for economic growth and job creation. At the same time, Investec has established expertise in building and supporting infrastructure solutions and funding sustainable cities and stronger communities. Investec believes that the financial sector has a vital role to play and their commitment is anchored in a partnership approach.

"We want to use the hearts and minds of our people and the financial expertise of our various businesses and partners to ensure a better, more sustainable world," says dos Santos. 

About the author

Caroline Edey-van Wyk

Caroline Edey-van Wyk

Brand Editor

Colloquially known as Investec’s “storyteller,” Caroline curates and produces all the content that underpins Investec's Out of the Ordinary brand promise. She works across the business but specialises in the areas of Sustainability, CSI, Sponsorships and HR. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree in Political Science and Broadcasting - cum laude. Before she joined Investec she was a broadcast journalist at Sky News and eNCA.

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