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Will 2017/18 be your year of sustainable finance? How will you contribute?

It’s undeniable, unless you are one of the dwindling number of deniers like Trump, that man made climate change is here and getting worse day-by-day. Something huge and significant has to be done. 

European Sustainable Investment Forum initiative

Flavia Micilotta executive director at Eurosif writes in today’s Eurative that, “After the tremendous build-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement, 2017 became what European regulators have decided to mark as the year of sustainable finance. The establishment of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) reflects the EU’s commitment to this agenda.”

Micilotta, notes, “This was reinforced at the G20 summit last week where, under a German presidency committed to tackling climate change, nineteen countries announced an ambitious commitment to the Climate and Energy Action Plan, in which climate finance was described as ‘key’.”

By the end 2017 the HLEG have been tasked to develop recommendations for a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union.

He believes that:

  • “Europe’s finance sector has a critical role to play in the world’s battle to adapt and survive the challenges of global warming. 
  • Financial capital must be encouraged to flow towards more sustainable technologies and be available for energy transition and the longer term strategic shift of emphasis in business transformation.
  • Environmental risk is the reality of any long-term perspective and must guide our decisions in terms of policy making as well as regulation. 
  • Europe’s jobs, our economic growth and our competitive edge depend on it.”

Huge questions for CFOs and corporate treasurers

The Eurosif initiative and the 2015 Paris Agreement raise important and fundamental questions about each and every company’s strategy and business model:

  • Is each investment assessed as to its eviromental impact?
  • How are you going to raise the % of your goods recycled at the end of their life? (This applies right across the board from drink producers to computer manufacturers to medical equipment manufacturers)
  • How can you change your business model to improve profitability and be more carbon neutral? 
  • How can we reduce the amount of energy we use?
  • Is there an environment impact steering committee charged with reducing your impact globally?

CTMfile take: Companies don’t need to wait to be prompted by the Eurosif initiative, they can act immediately. What is company doing to counteract climate change?

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