ENGIE Impact CFO Vincent Manier has joined 22 other global CFOs on the UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce. He talks about the role of today's CFO and the larger finance organization in enabling organizations' sustainability commitments.
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 21 September 2020 — The UN Global Compact CFO Taskforce today launched the first integrated, UN-backed principles for integrated SDG Finance and Investment. The principles seek to guide companies in aligning their sustainability commitments with credible corporate finance strategies to create real-world impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Released on the sidelines of the historic 75th session of the UN General Assembly, 34 Chief Financial Officers and C-suite Executives – members of the UN Global Compact’s CFO Taskforce – pin pointed four key areas that are relatively underserved but critical for SDG-aligned investments: SDG impact and measurement, integrated SDG strategies and investments, integrated corporate SDG Finance and integrated SDG communication and reporting. The goal is to work with the investment value chain, including investors, banks, development finance institutions, credit ratings agencies and sustainability assessment firms to create a broad, liquid and efficient market for SDG investments and capital flows.
As custodians of over $14 trillion a year in corporate investment, CFOs can be a driving force for the achievement of the SDGs. With growing interest in sustainable and responsible investment worldwide, it is increasingly crucial for CFOs to help their companies shape credible, SDG-aligned corporate sustainability strategies.
"Understanding how issuers contribute to the SDGs is a fundamental part of PIMCO’s sustainable investment and engagement strategy,” said Scott Mather, Chief Investment Officer, PIMCO U.S. Core Strategies, and Co-Chair of the CFO Taskforce. “These Principles provide the first integrated, UN-backed framework for companies to incorporate the SDGs in their financial strategy and operations. We hope this will encourage even more issuers to embed sustainability at the core of their business and create new opportunities for SDG investment."
“CFOs play a leading role in establishing clear indications and setting best practices for making corporate finance and investments a real driver of social growth. As members of the CFO Taskforce, we are all committed to working at the service of a new stakeholder capitalism, creating sustainable value for people and the planet,” said Alberto De Paoli, CFO of Enel, and co-chair of the CFO Taskforce. "The UNGC CFO Principles for Integrated SDG Investments and Finance represent a solid first step to guide companies in the adoption of credible finance strategies that fully integrate sustainability towards the achievement of SDGs.”
Developed by members of the CFO Taskforce and in consultation with key institutional partners, the principles are intended to build upon and supplement the overarching Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
With the launch of the principles, representatives of the CFO Taskforce call on investors, companies, banks, governments, and other market participants to work together towards a sustainable financial system that drives investment into the SDGs. The principles will be supported by implementation guidance, case studies, and working groups to help companies set ambitious targets to accelerate the transition of corporate finance and investments to sustainable development.
The CFO Principles on Integrated SDG Investment and Finance are available for download here.