GSG signs landmark agreement with UNDP

November 18, 2019


Buenos Aires, 18 November 2019 - The Global Steering Group (GSG) for Impact Investment, an independent steering group catalyzing impact investment, has signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today to work more closely together in achieving their shared vision to see all investment take impact into account and see more capital and solutions driving achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The GSG will work in tandem with SDG Impact, a UNDP initiative that accelerates progress towards the SDGs through adoption of global SDG Assurance Standards that provide guidance on how investors and enterprises contribute to the SDGs. In addition, the initiative has developed new market intelligence, the SDG Investor Maps, that translates country-level data collected by the UN system into investment facing opportunities. The announcement was made today at the GSG Summit in Buenos Aires.

The collaboration will include:

● Sharing UNDP SDG Investor Maps to attract additional private capital;

● Encouraging SDG Impact Assurance Standards to be a bridge between principles frameworks already in place and performance reporting and benchmarking;

● Collaboration on events such as investor meetings, dialogues;

● Educating policymakers on impact investment;

● Government level engagement and support for future NABs, with UNDP SDG Impact and UNDP Country Offices;

● Continued G7/G20 level engagement, and development of engagement with other relevant supranational bodies such as the African Union and ASEAN.

GSG has been promoting Impact Investment since its inception in 2015, after a highly successful G8 Taskforce in 2013, which led to creation of GSG. It has now raised aspirations to build on this foundation to envision a global impact economy. 

UNDP is assuming a key role in aiding the definition and measurement of impact investment, while ensuring that claims of SDG contributions can be validated. Moreover, UNDP is looking to the private sector for finance and capital. SDG Impact Assurance Standards are providing guidelines to help investors make more informed decisions about how to confidently allocate capital towards the SDGs.

“Millions of lives have already been improved worldwide through impact ventures delivering social and environmental outcomes alongside financial returns,” said Ulrika Modéer, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy. “Our new partnership with the GSG will help connect key market players, provide needed clarity and tools to catalyse capital investment flows to the Sustainable Development Goals and unlock billions of dollars for the benefit of people and the planet.”  

The first set of standards, for private equity funds, has already been published, and SDG assurance standards for bond issuance and for businesses are forthcoming in December 2019 and February 2020. Investors and companies that meet these assurance standards will be able to seek certification and a unique Seal to demonstrate their compliance.

The agreement comes ahead of the annual GSG Impact Summit, held in Buenos Aires on November 18 and 19 – the first time GSG is taking its Impact Summit, the leading global gathering of impact leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and philanthropists, to Latin America.

Discussions will cover scaling disruption for good, implementing Risk-Return-Impact across the economy, and the transition to Capitalism 2.0. The global forum will plan the advance of the impact movement, exchanging views and spreading best practice.

“GSG is driving the growth of the impact investing movement across the world, with Advisory Boards in 32 countries and the EU. These boards drive impact policy-making and catalyze local initiatives to improve lives and the environment.  This agreement with UNDP will make it possible to scale and spread impact programmes that can attract impact investment to provide the missing $30 trillion of funding necessary for the achievement of the SDGs.” – Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of GSG.


The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is an independent steering group, catalyzing impact investment and entrepreneurship, to benefit people and the planet. It is present in 33 countries and the EU through National Advisory Boards (NABs) that bring together leaders from the worlds of finance, business and philanthropy to drive the adoption of measurable impact in all investment and business decision-making. 

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.