ESG & Sustainability — November 17, 2021

Quantifying corporate societal impact using United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

This is the second in a series of Qontigo and Clarity AI research papers, which focuses on the challenge of measuring impact as a key means of bridging the gap between impact investment theory and practice.

Our paper also identifies the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework, which comprises 17 goals and 169 targets, as a way to structure company impact assessments.

This paper also:

  • Introduces and describes the approach developed by Clarity AI, which uses the SDGs to produce estimates of companies’ impact for each SDG goal plus an aggregated overall impact measure.
  • Summarizes the aggregate results obtained by taking this SDG approach to identify the SDGs with the greatest impact, the impact by sector and the SDGs overall.
  • Discusses the empirical relationships between the SDG impact measure and other metrics such as ESG performance and further company characteristics


Patricia Pina

Head of Product Research & Innovation, Clarity AI

Renato Coelho

Manager – Product Research & Innovation, Clarity AI

Carlos Lastra

Senior Manager – Product Research & Innovation, Clarity AI

Andrés Olivares-del Campo

Product Specialist – Product Research & Innovation, Clarity AI