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Global Sustain: 3rd ESG Responsible Investments, Green Finance & Brands Forum
Global Sustain (https://globalsustaingroup.com/) organised with great success in a full hall for 3rd consecutive year in cooperation and partnership with Forum for Responsible Investment (FNG), Investment Bank Berlin (IBB) and International Bankers Forum (IBF) the 3rd ESG Responsible Investments, Green Finance & Brands Forum 2018 (http://sustainabilityforum.de/) in Berlin on 26.9.2018 at the Conference Center of Investment Bank Berlin, with the motto this year “ESG, from Niche to Mainstream?”. Seniors from investment, funds & banking industries as well as from corporations, startups, service providers, associations, policy attended the forum and interacted with speakers and panelists. At the forum spoke seniors from different organisations, which represented European Investment Bank, BP, Trucost -part of S&P Global-, Investment Bank Berlin, Arabesque Asset Management, German Council for Sustainable Development, RMA Asset Management, Forum for Responsible Investment, Investment Bank Berlin, International Bankers Forum, ESMT Berlin.
The Forum was supported by Allianz Representation Büsch, Talenteco, Handelsblatt Sustainable Investments Edition, Absolut Research, Business Wire and CAPITALS Circle Group and was featured on several international English and German media from investments and finance segment.
A common conclusion and signal from all speakers and panels was, that the ESG / SRI Investments is something very positive, that is something not only for the institutional and retail investors but also for the private investors, that many ESG Indexes and funds outperform in comparison to mainstream indexes and funds (therefore the not good performance of ESG is a myth). Europe is ahead of USA and Asia regarding ESG Investments, ESG can be part of a mainstream portfolio and it does not mean that a fund has to invest 100% of the portfolio in an ESG way.
There are many different ESG Investment Strategies and ESG Investment Score Models and we have to be careful, which ones we use, how we use them and how we evaluate them, therefore there is a need for a very careful approach to the ESG Investment process and techniques and a need for an expert advisory regarding the ESG integration process, since every mistake can have financial impact. There are also many European and international regulation oriented initiatives either EU driven (EU legal framework proposal for the Sustainable Finance), state driven (e.g. in France) or market driven (e.g. TCFD), that try to support and will some new KPIs and a kind of classification in the ESG industry. Though these initiatives do not solve the important problem of the lack of common international standardization in the ESG industry. The long transition period of some of the initiatives (e.g. EU proposal), can have as an effect to be potentially outdated, when it will become effective after a few years, since we do not know at what stage will be the market at that time.
On the topic of regulation, of what kind of regulation we need and if the proposed by EU regulation is enough or is too much, there were different approaches by the various forum speakers. ESG Integration is not relevant only for Investors and financial institutions but also for corporations, especially the listed ones, ESG is correlated with TCFD, Sustainability reporting but also SROI. Germany, although it is the largest economy in Europe, it lacks behind, in comparison to France or UK regarding ESG Investments. Although it was a common estimation, that, ESG Market looks like, that it will continue to grow next years at a stable pace, meaning the trend is positive, there were different approaches regarding if it can become a potential market bubble or not, but for sure there is no risk for a bubble in a short term. ESG Investments is still a niche, with a positive trend and it can under conditions turn after a few years to a potential mainstream.
The above Forum that has been established as a high level communication and dialogue platform in the investment and finance industry connecting ESG Investments, Green Finance & Banking with Sustainable Brands is going to take place again next year in Berlin but also in Frankfurt.
See you all again in 2019.