UN SDG alignment

This page describes Upright's UN SDG metrics.

This document describes what UN SDG alignment data Upright provides. Upright's methodology on producing UN SDG alignment data is detailed here.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) were adopted by the UN in 2015 as a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for allโ€. The goals provide a unified framework for sustainable development consisting of 17 main goals (the SDGs), with a total of 169 targets. The SDGs are also known as โ€œthe 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentโ€ โ€” the ambitious targets should be reached by 2030.

Upright's UN SDG metrics

Company-level metrics

For each company within its coverage, Upright provides the UN SDG -related metrics described below. Covered SDGs include all 17 SDGs except SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals), which does not have a meaningful relationship with products and services.

For each SDG

  • Total SDG-aligned revenue share* (called total_alignment in the API)

  • Total SDG-misaligned revenue share* (called total_misalignment in the API)

  • Share of revenue from products that are strongly aligned with each SDG (called alignment_strong in the API)

  • Share of revenue from products that are strongly misaligned with each SDG (called misalignment_strong in the API)

  • List of products aligned with each SDG, including the level of alignment on a three-level scale (strong/moderate/weak) and the specific SDG target(s) it relates to

  • List of products misaligned with each SDG, including the level of misalignment on a three-level scale (strong/moderate/weak) SDG target(s) it relates to

*In these summed figures, revenue from products that are considered only moderately or weakly (mis)aligned is weighted equally or unequally, depending on the unit type the user has chosen on the platform. For more info, see methodology.

Aggregate figures for a company

The total revenue share of products that are either

  • aligned

  • misaligned

  • strictly aligned

with the alignment being at least

  • strong

  • moderate

and covering

  • any SDG target

  • any environmental SDG target

  • any social SDG target

These figures are only shown for companies when the unit mode "Pure revenue shares" is selected, and is available from Upright model release 1.2.0 onwards. For description of what SDG targets are considered environmental and social, see methodology.

Portfolio-level metrics

For portfolios (e.g. funds, indices, private wealth management portfolios, sales portfolios), Upright provides all the company metrics aggregated from individual portfolio constituents to portfolio level, with the aggregates being computed as weighted averages of the relevant company metrics.

The weighting depends on the type of the portfolio, with the most common weighting being based on the market value of each constituent.

In addition to these metrics, the Upright platform provides the list of constituents contributing to each SDG, along with a list of relevant SDG targets for each constituent.

The same metrics are provided for both user-created portfolios and portfolios that Upright provides for benchmarking purposes.

Aggregation of portfolio-level SDG alignment of unrecognized assets

The weight of unrecognized assets is not included in the denominator in portfolio-level SDG alignment aggregation. In other words, unrecognized assets will be assumed to have the average alignment of recognized assets in the portfolio. Unrecognized assets may include assets like currencies, government bonds or unrecognized company bonds.


SDGs capture negative impacts poorly

Upright's SDG metrics include data on both SDG alignment (i.e. positive impacts) and SDG misalignment (i.e. negative impacts).

However, since, the SDGs are focused on what should be achieved rather than what should be avoided, an impact analysis based on SDGs only will be skewed towards the positive side.

SDGs do not capture net impact

The SDGs are great for guiding the direction of improvement, but do not provide a framework for comparing impacts or managing tradeoffs by themselves. In addition, the goals are integrated in a way that aspirations to reach one can affect the others, meaning that the goals are not mutually exclusive.

Because of these aspects, we recommend using SDG metrics only in combination with other metrics, such as net impact.

It is recommended not to use SDG data as the only metric for measuring impact of companies: using the Upright net impact metrics, complemented by the SDG data, gives a more holistic picture.

UN SDG metrics in the Upright API

In addition to the Upright Platform UI, all metrics listed above are available from the SDG metrics endpoint in the Upright API.

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