Investing with a purpose - Analysing European Asset Owners' Contribution to the SDGs

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Publication :September 2019

More than half of Europe's major investors communicate on the SDGs 

The study carried out by Novethic reveals that a little more than half (52%) of all European Asset Owners (AOs) have started communicating on SDGs. The largest AOs seem more aware of SDGs as they represent 86% of the total Assets under Management (AuM) of the panel i.e. €7,263 billion. These are often sovereign wealth funds and insurers. 


Graph asset owner s awareness of the SDGs


The SDGs as a tool for managing investment strategies in Northern Europe.

The greatest numbers of investors communicating on SDGs are found in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden and France. However, the level of awareness among all investors in each country seems higher for countries like the Netherlands and Sweden that combine a significant number and a high proportion. First used as a reporting framework for their responsible investment approaches, these investors are gradually implementing the SDGs in their investment strategies. This is achieved, for some investors, by setting priorities among the 17 objectives.  Each asset owner freely choosing them according to their activity and strategy.

Many asset owners claim SDGs are strategic for investments

80 AOs (67% of those aware of SDGs) claim that SDGs are part of their investment strategy but for 70 of them, the information disclosed is not complete enough to show that SDGs are more than a general orientation.

For investors who choose to focus on specific SDGs, priorities are clear: Climate Change, Decent work and economic growth, Good health and wellbeing and Sustainable cities.

All of the 44 institutions focusing on the integration and/or the reporting of specific SDGs select Goals that are close to their business sector or existing commitments.  Climate Change (SDG 13) is the favorite for 34 institutions, Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) comes second, followed by Good health and wellbeing (SDG 3) and Sustainable cities (SDG 11). 


Roue ODD en

SDGs 13, 8, 11 and 3 appear as the most prioritized by the panel, i.e. those chosen by Asset Owners to be integrated into their strategies.