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Sustainable development goals

Aligning investment with sustainable development

A blueprint for sustainable investing

In 2015, the United Nations developed a set of 17 global sustainable development goals (SDGs).

We believe these goals are a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.

The SDGs address major global sustainability challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, justice, and technological innovation. All these challenges need significant public and private investment by 2030.

The opportunity

The financing gap is the difference between the current level of funding and the amount of investment required to achieve the 17 goals. Research estimates that trillions of dollars in additional investments are needed annually to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

We view this gap as an opportunity for companies to address unmet needs. Businesses can help to tackle the most pressing issues facing the world.

In our view, companies are more likely to deliver superior long-term financial returns if they align their business strategy with the SDGs. Many companies will benefit from the rising demand for SDG-related products, services and infrastructure. These should contribute positively to society and the environment.

Selecting the desired SDG strategy

We offer four SDG-aligned strategies, which are based on asset class, region or reporting needs.

rice fields

Asian SDG Equity Fund

The UN estimates Asia Pacific countries will achieve less than 10% of their measurable SDG targets by 2030. For the most innovative businesses, this lack of progress creates a significant untapped market. It’s these types of companies in which we look to invest.

corn field

Emerging Markets SDG Equity

Emerging markets (EM) need more than $4.2 trillion in annual investment to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Our Fund seeks to access this opportunity by investing in companies actively addressing the SDGs through their business activities and/or products.


Emerging Markets SDG Corporate Bond Fund

Our 'profit with purpose' corporate bond portfolio provides access to EM sustainability opportunities while generating income at a lower risk compared to equities.

sustainable and eco friendly

Global Impact Equity Fund

A more diverse opportunity, we aim to provide long-term growth by investing in globally listed companies. These businesses must deliver attractive financial returns while intentionally developing products and services that contribute to quantifiable, positive social and environmental outcomes.

Reasons to invest in our SDG strategies

  • People

    We have experienced, cross-asset investment teams in multiple global locations. They leverage independent, in-house expertise from abrdn’s sustainability group.

  • Rigorous and credible approach
    We focus on companies that are making a positive contribution to evidence-based unmet needs. Additionally, a minimum of 20% (30% for global impact) of a company’s capital expenditure, operating costs, or research and development spend must be linked to the SDGs. We create an additional stock note, coined an ‘impact’ or ‘SDG’ note, which is written and peer-reviewed by our analysts and the wider SDG governance group.
  • Policy support
    Renewable energy and green technology have huge policy support for carbon neutrality in the EU, the US and China. There is also enormous potential to expand financial services across emerging markets. There are still 1.7 billion adults who do not have access to financial products or services. Our own exposure spans insurance companies, digital payment operators, micro-lenders, and housing finance companies.
  • Diverse opportunities
    We use an eight-pillar impact framework that distils the 17 SDGs into core investible themes. These eight pillars offer diversification across the goals. They help us to focus on a wide range of companies that provide local solutions to major global problems.
  • Impact reporting
    We deliver results in a reliable way, measuring against specific sustainable key performance indicators. In addition to case studies and pillar-level data, we also analyse a company’s impact, according to country and region.

Important information.

*Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)

Introduced by the European Commission (EC) and effective in March 2021, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) is a disclosure regulation which requires fund managers like abrdn to provide sustainability-related information about the funds they offer. The goal is to ensure investors have the information they need to make investment decisions in line with their sustainability goals and preferences.

Find out more about abrdn sustainable investing

Our approach

Sustainability insights

Our team

Sustainability institute

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