Companies are increasingly aware of, and contributing towards, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through evolving business models, more thoughtful employment practices and innovative product offerings and reporting. This is very encouraging, and in our dialogue with companies, we can see growing interest. For the more advanced companies, ambitions are being raised; those at an earlier point in their journey are investing time and resources at pace.
In a normal year, this would provide encouragement that the attainment of the goals was growing more likely. This past year, however, has not been normal.
Very sadly, Covid-19 has resulted in over two million deaths and significant economic difficulty. The World Bank estimates that the number of coronavirus-induced ‘new poor’ in 2020 rose to between 119 and 124 million, with 62 million falling into extreme poverty globally. For the first time in 20 years, poverty is likely to significantly increase. It is right that we play our part in helping to build back better.
In our 2020 Annual Report, we reflect on how we target both traditional financial performance goals and positive and environmental change by engaging with companies to help deliver the SDGs. What progress did we achieve over the last year? And how has the strategy fared since its inception?
To find out more, read the full 2020 Annual Report.