Updated: Sep 15
The United Nations Association of Australia WA Division (UNAAWA) in partnership with the Atlas Trend held its last SDG Business Forum Series for this year titled Sustainable Investing and Achieving SDGs on 2 October at WeWork, Perth.
The Sustainable Investing and Achieving the SDGs Forum explored, together with industry and government leaders in Western Australia, different ways to use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as benchmark to measure social return on investments. The speakers for the panel discussion included: Kent Kwan (CEO of Atlas Trend); Kylie Hansen (Founding Director of Impact Seed); Mark Andrich (Founder & CEO of Sustainable Platform) and Rebecca Loftus (Director for EDFutures, Fogarty Foundation).
(left to right: Kent Kwan, CEO of Atlas Trend, Kylie Hansen, Founding Director of Impact Seed, Dr. Mark Andrich, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Platform, Rebecca Loftus, Director of EDFutures Fogarty Foundation.
President of UNAAWA & Chair of SDG Business Forum Series, Dr Sandy Chong, highlighted in her introductory statement that the SDG Goals are UN’s most ambitious goals to date. It represents an unprecedented global movement to end poverty, tackle climate change, and ensure a sustainable future for all. "We are falling behind on achieving the SDG Goals in parts because of the current funding levels. Our global ranking with achieving the SDGs in Australia is at 38. There is a lot to be done and we need to improve that marker," she said.
The panel discussion highlighted sustainable investment, its challenges and impacts on wider financial interests. The Chair opened the discussion by pointing out that impact investment is a great tool to generate measurable social impact, as well as financial returns for all.
One of the panel speakers, Mark Andrich, said "Sustainable investing is investing in companies that meet people’s needs without taking away from future generations or the environment. The two levels beneath that are around social equity with emphasis on the poor and how technology can enhance the society and the environment".
Kylie Hansen pointed out that impact investment, as a concept, is something that is more than just responsible investment. "It is not just about doing no harm; it is about intentional impact and in the investment decisions we make as an investor”. Understanding the different kinds of investment is a challenge, and it can be quite confusing. It is therefore imperative for one to be educated on the different types measures for social return.
The UNAAWA SDG Business Forum Series took off in May last year and has over 450 attendees and 25 sponsors and community partners to date supporting the program. For more information on how you could contribute or sponsor at next year’s SDG Business Forum Series, feel free to contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org.