M&G Investments - A decade to deliver: the SDG reckoning

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M&G Investments - A decade to deliver: the SDG reckoning

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. M&G Investments' SDG reckoner represents our assessment of progress towards delivering the goals, highlighting where ambition needs to be scaled up, and focusing on the role impact investors have to play in addressing these challenges.

SDG scorecard: A Summary

Our analysis shows that while the world has made significant strides in certain areas – for example, the generation of affordable and clean energy – there is still a long way to go, particularly with regard to challenges of a socio – economic nature. The spread of COVID-19 has hit global economies and their populations hard, reversing in some cases decades of progress. The UN has warned that COID-19 outbreak has acted as a major setback for the Goals, with progress already uneven prior to the pandemic. 


The SDGs represent a highly interconnected web of issues across both developed and emerging markets. From combating climate change to tackling poverty, an immense collective and collaborated endeavour on multifarious levels is required to come out of this crisis. Goals that have negatively impacted by the pandemic include SDG4 (Quality education), SDG8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG1 (No poverty), SDG9 (Reduced inequalities) and SDG12 (Responsible consumption and production). Our assessment highlights that greater focus is needed in particular on addressing the world’s social issues. The spread of the novel coronavirus has become the biggest health and economic crisis of our lifetime, hammering home the need for us to redouble our efforts and push forward to meet the SDGs and their underlying targets – before it is too late.


How pandemic has affected progress of each goal


  • Goal 1: No poverty

Over 71 million people are pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. 


  • Goal 2: Zero hunger

The pandemic is an additional threat to food system. 


  • Goal 3: Good health and well-being

The pandemic has interrupted childhood immunisation programmes in around 70 countries. 


  • Goal 4: Quality education

Remote learning remains out of reach for at 500 million students.


  • Goal 5: Gender equality

Lockdown are increasing the risk of violence against women and girls. 


  • Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Three billion people worldwide lack basic handwashing facilities at home. 


  • Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Affordable and reliable energy is critical for health facilities. One in four not electrified. 


  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

The world faces the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. 


  • Goal 9: Industry innovation and infrastructure

Financing for small scale industries is needed for their survival, only 35% have access to credit in developing countries. 


  • Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

The most vulnerable groups are being hit hardest by the pandemic. 


  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Over 90% of COVID-19 cases are in urban areas. 


  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

2019 was the second warmest year on record. 


  • Goal 13: Climate action

Over 71 million people are pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. 


  • Goal 14: Life below water

A 100-150% rise in ocean acidity was projected by 2100, affecting half of all marine life. 


  • Goal 15: Life on land

Over 31,000 species are threatened with extinction. 


  • Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Over 71 million people are pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. 


  • Goal 17: Partnership for the goals

Global foreign direct investment is expected to decline by up to 40% in 2020. 



Important Information:

The value of the fund's assets will go down as well as up. This will cause the value of your investment to fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you originally invested.



Ben Constable

Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing

Véronique Chapplow

Investment Director, Equities

M&G Investments

September 2020

Please note that these are the views of M&G Investments team and should not be interpreted as the views of RL360.

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A range of M&G Investments funds can be accessed through our guided architecture products Regular Savings Plan, Regular Savings Plan Malaysia, LifePlan, Oracle, Paragon, Protected Lifestyle, LifePlan Lebanon, Protected Lifestyle Lebanon, Quantum, Quantum Malaysia and also through our PIMS portfolio bond.