Officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs were established in September 2015 and signed by 195 countries in order to define worldwide sustainable development priorities that are set to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs offer a framework that allows companies and governments to demonstrate how they help advance sustainable development both by minimising negative impacts and by maximising positive impacts on the planet and society.

These priorities play an important part in the selection for our Sustainable Investment Universe of companies from, for example, the healthcare sector, the energy sector, but also from the food, beverages and tobacco sector.

SDG 13: Climate action – CO₂ as raw material

Climate action

A company we consider a prime contributor to achieving SDG 13 is Interface, the world’s largest designer and maker of carpet tiles, which is close to achieving its Mission Zero goal, a challenge it set itself to eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by 2020. The company’s next challenge is to become CO₂ positive in what is known as Climate Take Back. This revolutionary goal from Interface uses carbon dioxide as raw material for its products. If the company succeeds in this, it would give an enormous boost to the fight against climate change. Carbon would become a product with a price, leading more companies to start taking back carbon and integrating it into their business model.

SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing – Boosting access to healthcare

Good health

Universal health coverage, including access to essential health care services for all, is one of SDG 3’s targets. Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund contributes toward the achievement of this target by investing in companies whose activities contribute to realising a healthy lifestyle. A good example is Teladoc, a telehealth company that uses telephone and videoconferencing technology to provide on-demand remote medical care. The services are provided in the US and are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The platform improves the accessibility of healthcare by being available whenever and wherever the patient chooses.

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy - Access for all

Inverted SDG goals

Triodos Sustainable Equity Fund invests in British telecom company Vodafone, the largest telecom company in the world. The company is very active in providing people in developing countries access to information and means of communication. Mobile phones are an important tool to make payments, to get in touch with doctors for medical care, or in general to receive all sorts of useful and important information. Vodafone does not stop there, however. As mobile phones work on electricity, the company makes sure to provide solar-generated electricity in regions without other sources of electric power, thus contributing to the fulfilment of SDG 7, but – whether directly or indirectly – also of SDGs 8 and 9.