Although designed to be used at a country level, the Goals can be applied to businesses or portfolios. To do so requires selection of the right targets and indicators, and an understanding of how the goals are interrelated. The goals build from a base of environmental issues, particularly Goals 14 and 15, life below water and life on land. These underpin all the other potential impacts, both positive and negative, that investments can have.
Consumers and funders are increasingly aware that it is not just climate issues they need to be aware of. There are sustainability issues with respect to timber, paper and palm oil, but awareness is increasing about soy, beef, leather, cocoa, rubber and other commodities. Governments around the world are developing legislation on the use of products gathered illegally or unsustainably from nature anywhere in a company’s supply chain.