Zug – Over a dozen leading Swiss foundations and organizations have signed the recently launched Zug Declaration, which commits them to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals with their financial capital.
The Zug Declaration is a call for action for Swiss charitable foundations and supporting organizations to commit to impact investment. More specifically, it calls on foundations to use their financial capital to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the declaration, the SDGs can only be achieved by mobilizing every government and every individual, the private sector as well as all types of civil society organizations. Charitable foundations and associations have a particular role to play here.
“As part of civil society, they have given themselves the mission to better the world, each in their respective field. However, with their large financial asset base, they are also part of the global economy and thus deeply impact the world through their investments,” states the Zug Declaration.
Charitable foundations have traditionally used the returns from their financial assets to fund grants or operational activities that benefit society and the environment. The declaration takes this one step further by calling on them to publicly commit to use all their resources, in particular their financial capital, to work towards achieving the SDGs.
“By tracking the impact of their invested endowments, by aligning their invested financial capital to the SDGs, and by integrating sustainability and impact investing principles into their investment activities charitable foundations can significantly increase their positive impact – and taking on a leadership role for other asset owners and financial institutions,” according to Foundations & Sustainability, one of the first signatories of this new sustainability initiative.
Launched at the Zug Impact Summit 2017 on 30 October, the Zug Declaration was signed by over a dozen leading Swiss foundations and supporting organizations, with more foundations to sign in the future. Other first signatories include Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, WWF and Gold Standard.
An Argentinian NGO has also signed the declaration, giving it a global presence.
Image credit: C. Scalici