Chief Financial Officers call for greater private sector financing for the Sustainable Development Goals

New York, United States of America, Sept. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chief Financial Officers and other key actors in the investment community gathered at this year’s SDG Investment Forum in New York to call for accelerating private sector investment and financing to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and  achieve the 2030 Agenda. 

Currently only 15 percent of the Sustainable Development Goal targets are on track, progress on 48 percent of the SDGs is weak and insufficient and progress has stalled or gone into reverse on the other 37 percent. Similarly, while private capital is abundant, only a small share is clearly aligned with the Global Goals. 

The UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) announced during the event that they will work closely together to ensure all actors in the investment chain are aligned so capital can flow to the SDGs successfully. This was showcased by CFOs, investors, and financiers in the meeting discussing the use of Science-Based Targets to ensure company commitments and investments are ambitious, credible and in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and that they receive adequate funding for their transformation.

Speaking during the event, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact said:

“We are delighted to work with our partners to accelerate investments in the SDGs. For our part,  engaging with CFOs and corporate finance departments to make sure that companies around the world align their corporate investment and financing with strategy and targets for their sustainability transition. The CFO Coalition is leading the way and inspiring others to follow suit through our Forward Faster initiative where companies are asked to set targets and report on investments aligned with the SDGs and corporate financing strategy that is linked to SDG investments and performance.”

David Atkin, CEO, PRI said: 

“With only seven years left in our collective ambition to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it’s clear we need transformative, accelerated action. Along with our UN partners, the UN Global Compact and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, the PRI stands ready to support all actors in the investment chain in aligning financial flows, strengthening legal frameworks, and creating an enabling policy environment to deliver on the SDGs.”

Eric Usher, Executive Director, UNEP FI said:

“Financial institutions are accelerating momentum by setting targets and working to transform their businesses to help achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, every part of the financial system, including policymakers, will need to work alongside corporates and SMEs to help transition the real economy to one that ensures positive outcomes for all.”

Christian Stracke, President, Global Head of Credit Research, PIMCO, and CFO Coalition Co-Chair and Advisory Board member said:

“The CFO Coalition recognizes that the Sustainable Development Goals provide business and investment blueprints to help tackle the range of challenges confronting society today.  They also provide a clear guide for investors wanting to dedicate capital to support these goals.  In this way, if grounded in core sustainability principles, private investment and finance can be a force for good in societal, planetary, and economic terms.”

Alberto De Paoli, Head of Americas and Rest of the World, ENEL and CFO Coalition Co-Chair and Advisory Board member said:

“As Co-Chair of the CFO Coalition I’m very proud of the work carried out over these years, positioning the coalition to play a key role in establishing a link between finance and the UN’s SDG goals. This link has been recognized today as one of the five pillars of the call to action within the Forward Faster Campaign, making it all the more valuable. I would like to thank the United Nations as well as the Global Compact and I hope that, moving forward, the steps we have made towards the achievement of the 2030 agenda serve as a blueprint for the implementation of concrete and coordinated actions taken by the public and private sectors.”

The news comes after the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for affordable long-term financing to be scaled up by aligning all financing flows to the SDGs. He recently proposed a  $500 billion annual stimulus for the Sustainable Development Agenda to offset unfavorable market conditions faced by developing countries through investments in renewable energy, universal social protection, decent job creation, healthcare, quality education, sustainable food systems, urban infrastructure and digital transformation. 

The event also highlighted a new report from the Climate Bonds Initiative and UN Global Compact on The role of the Chief Finance Officer in achieving the low carbon climate transitionThe report underlines the key role Chief Financial Officers play in managing the risks and opportunities offered by taking action or lagging behind in the low carbon transition. It noted that late, unambitious action, which opens a company to physical, regulatory, and financial climate risks could be negatively priced by the investors, damaging the value of the company and bringing long term reputational impacts. On the flip side, proactive action can bring a sustainable long-term competitive advantage to businesses. 

Notes to Editors

About the UN Global Compact

As a special initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call to companies worldwide to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 18,000 companies and 3,800 non-business signatories based in over 101 countries, and 62 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. 

About the CFO Coalition for the SDGs

The CFO Coalition for the SDGs is a platform where global CFOs and other corporate officers can collaborate with peers, investors, financial institutions and UN agencies to develop principles, frameworks and recommendations to integrate the sustainable development goals (SDGs) into corporate finance and create a market for mainstream SDG investments. For more information, visit


Alex Gee


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