Why are investors flocking to SDG-committed companies?

October 02, 2019 by Mark Dunn

Alfred Berkeley, chair of the UNGSII’s SCR500 fund, former president of the NASDAQ stock exchange and advisor to U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama, took time out at Davos to discuss the fund’s performance with LexisNexis.

What are the results you are announcing today and what do they mean?

“The UNGSII sponsored a fund that is trying to make the point that you can make better than market averages by investing in companies that are adhering to the SDGs for 2030. We are running a paper portfolio that is doing that right now and we’ve had results for 2018 of about 13.7 percent—that’s a little better than the Standard & Poor’s 11.97 percent.”

“The great challenge in the sustainable investing area is to convince people that you can make a good return while you are making good investments, that the companies can subscribe to the SDGs, they can change their business models so they can become more sustainable and they can still make good money.”

What is your aim?

“I think there are two keys that we need to be addressing - one is the companies themselves and our primary purpose is to make money, at least as much money as the market would make you, and then to reward companies with attention and praise for adhering to the SDGs”


What is your message to companies considering putting sustainability at the heart of their business strategy?

“It’s a big decision for a company to go sustainable, many companies are paying lip service to it, but more and more companies are actually delivering and doing it. We have a wonderful chance as a western society, indeed the world, to take on the challenge of the UN, to change our behavior and up our game.”

“The SDGs are all about upping humanity’s game in this long-term view of our own survival and the world’s health. So, that’s what we’re about—proving to investors that you can make a better than average return and proving to companies that it pays to be a sustainable company.”

Explore More:

1. Learn more about SDGs on our parent company’s RELX SDG Resource Centre.

2. See how a commitment to SDGs benefits companies and communities.