Sustainable Development Goals: Harnessing Business to Achieve the SDGs through Finance, Technology and Law Reform

Julia Walker, Alma Pekmezovic, Gordon Walker

John Wiley & Sons, £60

In September 2015 the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The aim of the SDGs was to overcome poverty and promote sustainable development that encompasses economic, social and environmental dimensions. The SDGs apply to all countries regardless of their level of development. This engaging book looks at the potential achievement of the SDGs through the means of finance, technology and law reform.

Sustainable Development Goals is divided into four sections: overview, finance, technology and law reform. These are clearly set out and well introduced. Each chapter within the relevant section is written by a different author from around the world, including legal and research professionals, and political and financial leaders. This gives a rounded approach to each topic and a range of opinions and ideas. The book is logically structured and it is relatively easy to find information on specific topics. In-depth research and critical analysis are supported by examples from financial institutions such as UBS Wealth Management and Manulife Asset Management. It also includes useful summary tables and diagrams.

Sustainable Development Goals looks at existing financial structures and discusses innovative ways to provide the necessary financial resources. In particular, it considers the use of private sector action, emphasising the need for data in developing, monitoring and reviewing the SDGs. It also looks at sustainable supply chains and innovative opportunities, such as blockchain and fintech applications. The final section looks at various trends, including crowdfunding and SME financing. Finally, the SDGs are reproduced in full in a useful appendix.

This book is primarily aimed at business people, including professionals, policymakers, regulators, students and teachers, but its straightforward presentation and organised style make it accessible to a wider audience. The book is slightly weighted towards the financial sector, but as a legal practitioner I found it accessible and useful in giving a different perspective on the SDGs.

Andrea Muirhead is a professional support lawyer in the environment team at LexisNexis