To date, “sustainable investments” encompass a wide range of investment strategies with varying degrees of sustainability and impact. Some financial products and strategies are presented as sustainable without making a meaningful contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (i.e., so-called green- and SDG-washing).
To mitigate the risk of SDG-washing, the GISD Alliance reached consensus on a common definition of sustainable development investing (see Sustainable Development Investing (SDI) Definition), which set minimum thresholds that investment strategies and products should meet to qualify as aligned with sustainable development. The definition goes beyond broad principles and includes concrete steps for its operationalization in an investment portfolio centered around the SDGs.
In addition, the GISD Alliance has sought to help investors implement the definition by commissioning research on an SDI-aligned listed equity index (see Sustainable Development Investing: Creating a scalable SDI-aligned index) and developing case studies.