Are you aware of the impacts your deposits and investments have on people and planet, both personally and professionally?
In this blog post, we give you an overview about why Finance matters for Sustainability and how that’s related to you.
The global financial services sector is a large part of any nation’s economy and it’s crucial to Sustainable Development. And global investments are required for addressing climate change: according to the OECD, investments in infrastructure alone require $6 trillion per year up to 2030….!
However, since the Paris Accord in 2015, financial institutions have continued investing in fossil fuels, providing $1.6 trillion in loans to 12 fossil mega-clusters and invested $1.1 trillion in bonds and shares in the 133 companies driving these fossil fuel expansion projects.
On the other hand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a special report in May 2021 recommending an immediate halt to new oil, gas and coal projects as part of a “road map” for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
According to Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank
“the financial sector can become a powerful force acting in our collective best interest.”
What’s Sustainable Finance?
Sustainable Finance generally refers to the process of including environmental and social considerations (ESG) when making investment decisions, leading to increased investment in longer-term and sustainable activities. Sustainable Finance also channels private investment to the transition to a climate-neutral economy, as a complement to public money.
Sustainable Finance can take many forms:
- SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) funds
- green and social bonds
- Impact Investing
- Equity Crowdfunding
- Shareholder activism
- and more…!
The EU Taxonomy, a classification system of environmentally sustainable economic activities, wants to provide clear definitions on which economic activities can be considered environmentally sustainable, in order to scale up sustainable investment and implement the Green Deal.
How does that relate to you and your business?
The financial institution where you deposit your money has an important impact on the future of people and planet.
There are several ways you can take action on sustainable finance at your scale:
- Awareness. Be aware of your impact, personally and professionally. Find out what you are financing through the money placed at your bank (current and savings accounts) and investments (pension plans, investment funds…).
- Investigate. Gain more clarity with your bank on ways your money could be financing positive impact. Or change to a sustainable bank.
- Invest directly in projects for the planet (instead of investing through a financial intermediary). For example we give 1% of our annual sales to “1% for the Planet France”.
- Spread the word to raise awareness on this topic and share solutions among colleagues, friends, family …
- Watch this short film by WWF to get more insights: Our Planet: too big to fail
👉 Food for thought for you:
- What are you doing to make sure your money is invested in a sustainable future?
- If not, what actions will you take?
Written by Marena Eirich, founder at teams4purpose.
Sources for this blog post include: Urgewald – 5 years lost. FRIENDS OF THE EARTH and Reclaim Finance – NGO; Eva Sadoun on Brut Officiel; EU Commission; IEA; OECD; EU Central Bank
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