SDG-Aligned Business & Finance

We strive to strengthen the alignment of finance, investment, and business with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are rethinking the standards, disclosure frameworks, and metrics necessary to meaningfully shift business and investor practice, and to produce comparable and reliable information for action by regulators, investors, companies, consumers, and others.

Our Four-Pillar Framework for Sustainable Business & Finance

We have developed a conceptual framework to clearly, coherently, and rigorously define SDG-aligned business and investing practices.

We apply this framework through a range of lenses, including in our analysis of:

  • sectors (e.g., food and utilities);
  • risks (e.g., climate and water);
  • thematic issues (e.g., fiduciary duties and engagement in policymaking);
  • actors (e.g., corporate management and asset managers); and
  • contexts (e.g., looking at emerging market firms and the relevance of ownership structures).


The Four Pillar Framework for Sustainable Business & Finance

  1. Product lines are beneficial for society, which addresses the impact of a business’s products and services on human wellbeing and the planet’s sustainability.  Are the products conducive to wellbeing, and supportive of the living standards and life goals of individuals?


  1. Production processes are socially and environmentally sustainable, which considers the environmental and social impacts of the business and its operations, including resource use (land, water, energy) and emissions, respect for human rights, and decent work conditions.


  1. Value chains are socially and environmentally sustainable, which reflects the company’s role in and responsibility for the broader ecosystem of which it is part, including its interaction with its supply chain, producers, parallel industries, and consumers. How does the organization collaborate to promote and incentivize more sustainable practices and better livelihoods in its value chain?


  1. Companies are good corporate citizens, which refers to how companies are governed internally, and how they engage externally. In both of these areas, it assesses whether companies encourage and reward conduct that strives to internalize externalities, and whether companies value and do not undermine the crafting and effective deployment of law and policy that advances inclusive sustainable development (e.g., with respect to taxes, litigation, lobbying, and political engagements). 


The complex interconnections of finance, investing, and business operations and practices with the SDGs make it essential to look across all of these pillars to ensure practices are both advancing, and not undermining, the SDGs. 

SDG-Aligned Business & Finance: Areas of Work

Based on our Four Pillar Framework for Sustainable Business & Finance, CCSI is conceptualizing standards and metrics for an SDG-aligned investing framework, as well as the data and policy frameworks necessary to propel SDG-aligned investing toward widespread practice. Read more.

Realigning financial sector activities towards a zero-carbon future will be critical to limiting global warming. To this end, CCSI is also working to evaluate net zero financial sector commitments and initiatives, and explore what Paris alignment requires of these institutions and their coalitions. Read more.

Based on our Four Pillar Framework for Sustainable Business and Finance, CCSI is analyzing various sectors to assess alignment with the SDGs. 

Read more about our work on the Food sector here.

Read more about our work on the Utility sector here.


CCSI’s work on Development Finance aims to analyze how to better ensure that financing for development initiatives, including those involving partnerships with private institutions, advance the SDGs.

National Development Banks

Read more about our work on National Development Banks here.

Public-Private Partnerships

Read more about our work on public-private partnerships here.


Read more about our Emerging Market Global Players Project here.


Market concentration within sectors and across global value chains has increased in recent years, leading to new scholarship on the benefits and harms of concentrated industries. The macroeconomic effects of market concentration, and its effects on stakeholders like workers, consumers, and citizens, will significantly impact the achievement of the SDGs. Read CCSI's primer on the Harms from Concentrated Industries here.

CCSI’s work identifies cutting-edge circular economy practices across various sectors of the economy. We examine the best ways to help existing good practices take root and flourish, and identify opportunities for new progress and innovation. 

Read CCSI’s work on leading circular economy practices in the industrial goods sector here.

Read about CCSI’s work on circularity potential in the mining sector here

Read CCSI’s work on enabling a circular economy in the mineral value chains of solar and wind power projects here.

Explore CCSI and Carbon Market Watch's collaboration on Voluntary Carbon Markets here.