The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed by the United Nations and adopted by all 193 member states in 2015. The goals are a shared blueprint for all sectors of society to use to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. They help investors identify areas where capital is needed to address the world’s biggest problems.

While the SDGs are used globally as a language of impact investing, there is no universally agreed way to apply the SDGs to investment decisions or reporting.


The Global Impact Investing Network (The GIIIN) has developed the IRIS Catalog of Metrics. IRIS metrics are designed to measure the social, environmental and financial performance of an investment. There are:

  • Social impact objectives
  • Environmental impact objectives
  • Target groups