Newsletter – MAY 2021

For 12 years, "where finance meets impact" has been SFG's mantra. A world where finance and the economy care about the societal and climate impact of their activities. A world where investors, consumers and citizens make informed choices.

A recent article by the Harvard Business Review, which I’m sharing with you here, sheds light on this world that is slow to emerge. It is a world that we urgently need, because it is the future of the planet that is being played out before our eyes; in short, it is all of our futures. But rethinking our use of the world necessarily means questioning the consequences of our activities and decisions, and being able to measure both the positive and negative externalities.

To do this, we must be able to rely on a defined and shared reference framework at international level. A clear and unambiguous benchmark that allows us to measure the societal and environmental impact of our modes of consumption and production, with the first consequence being a massive redirection of capital towards activities that favour the future we want.

There is no doubt that this challenge is the only adequate response to the societal and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Will we be up to the challenge: that of an economic, financial and political world that claims to change and that really gives itself the means to do so?

Kind regards,

Sandrine Salerno
Executive Director

Championing the “S” in ESG. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, director of the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights is our special guest in this month’s edition. On a mission to empower business and finance industry leaders to make practical progress on human rights, she talks about why the “S”, or the social factor, in ESG investing is often overlooked and how to fix it // SFG (EN)
Mapping SDG investment projects across the globe.
A new online tool developed by the UN’s development agency and backed by some of the world's largest financial institutions aims to connect investors with projects across the world that can contribute to the body's 17 sustainable development goals. // Bloomberg (EN)
Consume less, recycle more, urges top UN official. 
To slash planet-warming emissions, countries urgently need to step up their commitments to “circular” policies of reusing and recycling, the UN Economic Commission for Europe urged ministers at its biennial high-level meeting last month. // Geneva Solutions (EN)

Building Bridges 2021 officially kicks off tomorrow Thursday, May 6, with a call for events that will allow you to submit ideas for debates and concrete solutions for sustainable finance. Interested? Visit !

We're in the news!
Sandrine Salerno made several press appearances last month talking about her new role at SFG. She told Responsible Investor that her first encounter with the sustainable finance sector several years ago coming from a political background was a “wow” moment, which inspired her to reshape the way the city of Geneva managed its portfolio. 

In a separate interview with Le Temps, she spoke about her ambitions for SFG and the Building Bridges summit this year as well as the need to make sustainable finance more accessible to the wider public. “Finance should not remain a matter for specialists; citizens should be able to take a stand on how their money is invested and influence the work of financiers."

Thanks also to Tribune de Genève for their interview last week. 
Not to miss...
Next up, we’ll be making an appearance on RTS’ week-long sustainable finance series on “On va vers le beau”, airing from 3 to 7 May. Do not miss us on 6 May at 16h30 for the fourth episode in the series. 
Sustainable finance and the talent challenge: Ireland’s story
With many of the world’s economies rebooting in the wake of the pandemic, this transition period must be used to rethink how the economy can be further aligned with a resilient, low-carbon future, says Sustainable Finance Ireland’s Paddy Molony. However finding professionals with the sustainable finance skills needed to achieve this is still a challenge, as research in Ireland shows. In this latest opinion piece in partnership with Financial Centres for Sustainability, Molony shares what Ireland has been doing to address the talent gap. // SFG (EN)

Amazon becomes the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in Europe. The company now has 206 renewable energy projects globally, including 71 utility-scale wind and solar projects and 135 solar rooftops on facilities and stores worldwide, which will generate 8.5 GW of electricity production capacity globally. // Environmental Leader 
Swiss news
Zurich has been toppled from its spot as the world’s leading green financial centre, with Amsterdam taking its place and London in close third. That’s according to the latest edition of the Global Green Finance Index released last week. Geneva moved up to two places to rank seventh, just behind Luxembourg. The index measures the quality and depth of green finance offerings in financial centres. // Long Finance

Switzerland’s role in low-carbon transition. With a range of financial instruments serving as concrete solutions to finance a low-carbon economy at investors’ disposal, it’s time for the Swiss financial industry to make concrete commitments between now and UN’s climate summit later this year, says AlphaMundi’s Tim Radjy and Cecilia Serin in this opinion piece. // Agefi

Action plan for green fintech. The Green Fintech Network, a recently-launched collaboration of start-ups and experts in the Swiss green fintech space, and backed by the Confederation, has set out 16 proposals for combining digital technology and a sustainable financial sector. They range from setting up a platform for sustainability data to the launch of an innovation challenge for green fintech start-ups. // SIF

International news

One in four funds are 'sustainable' under new EU rules, according to Morningstar, as managers try to appeal to investors pouring cash into sustainable assets. The European Union's Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, part of which went live in March, aims to harmonise standards in the growing market for sustainable financial products. // Reuters

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Have a good day and keep an eye out for our next newsletter 2 June 2021.

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