Investors' top impact investing priorities

Investors' top impact investing priorities
  • Investment Insights
  • 1 minute read

In 2015, the United Nations created 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs build on decades of work by many countries and the UN, providing a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet by 2030.


Impact investment solutions tend to identify opportunities that tackle these same targets. And while 26% of investors have never heard of the goals, and only a quarter (25%) are confident they know what they mean, it’s clear that the goals and values themselves are important. A mere 4% of investors said that none of the goals were important to them. The rest were asked to rank their top priorities – and interestingly, there was no clear winner.

Top priorities for investors:

Ranking   %
1 Clean water and sanitation 29%
2 Climate action 28%
3 Good health and wellbeing 27%
4 No poverty 25%
5 Zero hunger 25%
6 Forest/earth conservation 25%
7 Affordable and clean energy 22%
8 Ocean conservation 22%
9 Quality education 20%
10 Peace, justice and strong institutions 20%
11 Gender equality 19%
12 Decent work and economic growth 16%
13 Responsible consumption and production 16%
14 Reduced inequalities 14%
15 Sustainable cities and communities 13%
16 Industry, innovation and infrastructure 11%
17 Government partnerships 9%

Hard-hitting issues like clean water, climate action, and good health came out top, but not significantly so. This shows that it’s a very subjective area, and clients are likely to have different priorities. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution; the responsible investment solution that aligns with one client’s goals might be very different from that of another.

Personal financial planning

Explore the full results of the Responsible investing survey 2021

Source: Close Brothers Asset Management, Responsible investing survey 2021 - which included over 2,000 clients at Close Brothers Asset Management.

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