Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The SDG Investing (SDGI) Initiative, a coalition of financial institutions in the Netherlands, has recommended that the Dutch government and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) take steps to accelerate investments on the themes of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 18 financial institutions collectively manage over €2,800 billion in assets.

11 January 2017: The SDG Investing (SDGI) Initiative, a coalition of financial institutions in the Netherlands, has recommended that the Dutch government and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) take steps to accelerate investments on the themes of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 18 financial institutions, which collectively manage over €2,800 billion in assets, propose recommendations and actions within the context of the country’s investment value chains.

In an invitation to the Dutch Government and Central Bank, the financial institutions state their commitment to contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, describing the 17 SDGs as “a catalytic driver for positive change.” According to the institutions, it is in the interests of their clients and investees to consider the “largest societal challenges of our time in our work and investments.” The signatories are: ABN-AMRO; Achmea Investment Management; Actiam; Aegon; APG; ASN Bank; ASR Nederland; Delta Lloyd; FMO; ING ; MN; NIBC; NN; PGGM; Rabobank; Robeco; Triodos Bank; and Van Lanschot Kempen. Three enabling networks and initiatives also signed the Invitation: Impact Summit Europe; Pymwymic; and VBDO.

It is in the interests of clients and investees to consider the “largest societal challenges of our time in our work and investments,” say 18 Dutch financial institutions.

The Dutch SDGI Agenda identifies areas where collaboration with the Dutch government and central bank “will unlock greater SDG investment and increase our net positive contributions” to the SDGs. The institutions recommend four areas of action: systematic deployment of blended finance instruments, to catalyze SDG investment; making SDG investment the “new normal” by encouraging and enabling all Dutch retail investors to invest with impact; establishing an enabling environment for taking on sustainability indicators and standards; and identifying and addressing real and perceived regulatory barriers and incentives to SDG investment.

The Initiative also issued a report, titled ‘Building Highways to SDG Investing: Building Highways to SDG Investing,’ which provides 16 recommendations. On blending public and private capital, the report recommends setting institutional targets for SDG investing, pooling funds for scale and developing public risk-return solutions. On standardizing data, the report recommends determining SDG indicators for tracking institutional SDG investments and making relevant SDG and market information available in anticipation of a universal SDG data infrastructure, among other recommendations. On mobilizing retail-oriented impact capital, the report recommends launching a SDG awareness campaign and aligning pension regulations and schemes with the SDGs to enable individual pension savers and private banking clients to invest in the SDGs. On ensuring a supportive regulatory environment, the report recommends conducting further research to publish a summary of barriers and incentives and ensuring SDG transparency by stimulating the uptake of SDGs in corporate reporting efforts.

The SDGI Initiative presented its report and action plan to the Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Lilianne Ploumen, and the DNB, the Dutch central bank, at the 2016 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) conference in December 2016. [SDGI Initiative Website] [Building Highways to SDG Investing]

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