Back to search

Standards Launched to Guide Private Equity Funds on SDGs

SDG IMPACT STANDARDS Private Equity Funds Impact management for Private Equity, Debt and Venture Capital Funds committed to contributing positively to sustainable development and achieving the SDGs 

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has issued guidance on ways for private equity funds can contribute to the SDGs. The SDG Impact Standards for Private Equity Funds will be supplemented with a voluntary assurance framework that will include an ‘SDG Impact Seal’ in recognition of best practice.

  • The Standards aim to meet the need for clear guidance and fill a knowledge gap for businesses seeking ways to make a positive impact.
  • The Standards provide a common language to help private equity, venture capital, and other funds in private markets achieve social and/or environmental impact through their investments.
  • The Standards were developed by the UNDP initiative ‘SDG Impact,’ along with industry experts.
  • SDG Impact seeks to empower investors and businesses to support and authenticate their contributions towards achieving the SDGs.

In launching the Standards, Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen, SDG Impact, said they will help focus approximately USD 4 trillion toward sustainable investments and solutions that can address challenges related to health, poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and peace and justice.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner highlighted the private sector’s role as a ‘first responder’ to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the provision of technology, innovation, skills, services, and employment, saying the private sector can now also play a critical role in building back better. 

SDG Impact is also developing Standards for Bonds  and Standards for Enterprises, which are currently in the public consultation phase.

In every corner of the globe, the private sector is increasingly seeking new opportunities to make a positive impact – and to make meaningful contributions towards the achievement of the SDGs.

However, they are lacking concrete guidance on how to translate intent to action -- a longstanding missing link. To this end, the new UNDP SDG Impact Standards for private equity funds are a practical contribution to provide a common language and a clear system to fully integrate the SDGs into all business and investment decision making processes.

The standards emanate from the important work being undertaken by SDG Impact -- a groundbreaking UNDP initiative to empower investors and businesses with the clarity, insights, and tools required to support and authenticate their contributions to achieving the SDGs. 

Further reading from UNCCD Library : 

sdgs private funds