27 nov. 2023, 14:53

What is Sustainable Finance?

What is Sustainable Finance?

Sustainable finance: Building an Economy for the Future

Sustainable finance, also known as 'sustainable finance', is an approach to financial services that aims to support economic growth and development in a way that respects the environment, maximises social impact and creates long-term value for all stakeholders.

What is Sustainable Finance?

Sustainable finance covers a broad range of financial activities and investments that take environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into account. This means that financial institutions not only seek profits, but also consider the impact of their investments on the environment, society and corporate governance. The aim is to integrate sustainability into all financial decisions.

Types of jobs in Sustainable Finance

Sustainability specialists: These professionals analyse and advise on sustainability issues across industries. They help assess ESG criteria and how they can be implemented in investment decisions.

Impact Investment Managers: They manage investment funds aimed at achieving measurable social and environmental impact, in addition to financial returns.

ESG analysts: These experts analyse companies and assess how well they perform on environmental, social and governance issues. This helps investors make informed decisions.

Sustainability consultants: They advise companies and financial institutions on how to integrate sustainability principles into their business strategies and investment portfolios.

Example vacancy: investment management at FMO

B Corp organizations and Sustainable Finance

Did you know that quite a few B Corps are working on Sustainable Finance? Below you will find a list of companies that are B Corp and are involved in sustainable banking, sustainable investing, or are involved in sustainable finance in other ways.

Karmijn Kapitaal B.V, investing covers more than traditional topics such as finance and efficiency. They invest in MKBs run by (gender) diverse management teams and also focus on the 'softer' aspects of entrepreneurship, such as care for employees and customers, long-term vision and stimulating creativity and innovation.

RGreen Invest, is an independent French investment management company with a proven track record in investing and financing infrastructure projects related to energy transition, climate mitigation and adaptation.

Vendis capital management, is a private equity company specialising in the consumer goods sector in Europe. Working with entrepreneurs and managers, Vendis aims to invest in small to medium-sized consumer companies to help them realise their growth potential.

HPE Growth, is a focused, leading private equity firm specialising in European digital technology. Headquartered in Amsterdam, their international team has built a strong track record in growth investments and operational value added, primarily focused on the FinTech, Digital Health, SaaS and Consumer Internet sectors.

Atypical Partner, is a sustainable asset management platform focused on identifying and fostering innovative financial entrepreneurs in Europe.

Revent Capital, gather a community of purpose-driven founders, investors and scientists to drive systemic change in the areas of climate, healthcare, education and finance. Our role is to provide founders with the platform to succeed, supporting them with capital, relevant networks and a mission that aligns.

VP Capital, is the investment company of the Van Puijenbroek family. An investment family with an eye for tradition and a drive to make a positive impact; Strong heritage. Sustainable progress

Circular Investment BV, invest in companies and projects that are good for business, society and the environment. Working with a range of expert partners and practitioners, we identify, develop, structure and implement projects that deliver tangible social and environmental benefits while generating risk-adjusted financial returns for the economy.

Rubio Fund Management BV, invests in world-changing entrepreneurs creating huge impact and market returns.

Pymwymic, (Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community) is one of Europe's largest communities of impact investors. Since 1994, the Pymwymic group of families, philanthropists and individual investors have invested capital and resources in for-profit companies.

Borrowing Money and Environmental Impact

Where we borrow our money and how we place our investments has significant environmental and social impacts. Becoming aware of the impact of our financial decisions is crucial for a more sustainable future.

Many people are unaware that loans from financial institutions such as banks can have a significant impact on the environment. For example, mortgages for energy-efficient homes can increase the demand for sustainable building materials, while loans for unsustainable practices can actually harm the environment, such as financing for projects that rely on fossil fuels. It is therefore important to consider where we take out loans and the impact these loans have on the environment. Banks such as Triodos Bank and ASN Bank offer green loans specifically for sustainable projects. These loans can contribute to a positive environmental impact by financing energy-efficient homes, sustainable agricultural projects and renewable energy initiatives.

Organisations Focusing on Sustainable Investments:

- Triodos Bank: Triodos is a pioneer in sustainable banking and investment. They only finance projects that have a positive impact on people and the environment.

- Polestar Capital: Polestar Capital focuses on sustainable infrastructure investments, such as renewable energy, water management and green technologies.

- Oikocredit: Oikocredit is a cooperative that invests in microfinance, agriculture, renewable energy and other social enterprises worldwide.

- ASN Bank: ASN Bank in the Netherlands invests exclusively in sustainable and responsible projects. They publish transparent reports on where their customers' money goes and what impact these investments have

It is essential to think about where we borrow our money and how we place our investments. By making conscious choices when selecting loans and investments, individuals and companies can contribute to a more sustainable future.

It is up to us as individuals, businesses and society as a whole to take responsibility for our financial decisions and contribute to a world where sustainability and well-being go hand in hand.

Switching to a Sustainable Bank

According to Eerlijke Bankwijzer, a platform of organisations such as Oxfam Novib and Milieudefensie, there are two frontrunners for sustainable banking in the Netherlands: Triodos Bank and ASN. Triodos is independent and founded in 1980. ASN is a former union bank and part of the nationalised Volksbank.

Sustainable banks actively choose what to invest in, with a view to making a positive impact. With traditional banks, it is quite a quest to find out exactly what your money is used for, this is different with sustainable banks. Both ASN and Triodos have listed on their websites the companies and projects they put their customers' money into.

Major banks such as ABN-AMRO, Rabobank and ING together invested some 9 billion euros between 2013 and 2016 in the 15 most animal-unfriendly meat companies in our country, including poultry factories. These banks' investments in the areas of weapons, climate and labour rights were investigated. ING scores the worst in all areas.

A switch is easy to make. It sounds scary and a lot of work, switching banks and changing all your financial personal details, but it's a snap. For instance, you have a switching service that ensures your incoming payments on your old accounts are transferred to your new account for 13 months and your new account is passed on to companies that debit money from your account by direct debit. The first step is to create an account, then apply for the switch service, and then you can already use your new account.

Action in Amsterdam against Banks Investing in Fossil Energy

Protests against banks are on the rise. These protests are a way for citizens and activist groups to hold banks accountable for their investment decisions and promote a more sustainable economy that relies less on polluting energy sources. Fossil fuels are a major source of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. By investing in this sector, banks indirectly facilitate the continuation of activities that amplify global warming. Protests against these investments are a way to draw attention to the need for a shift to renewable energy sources to combat climate change.

On Saturday 30 December 2023, from 12:00, Extinction Rebellion will block the A10 motorway near the former ING headquarters "De Schoen" in Amsterdam. The demand is clear: ING must immediately stop all financing and services to the fossil industry. Extinction Rebellion will not clear the A10 until ING stops funding activities that contribute to climate disruption.

For more information or to join this action against ING read on Extincion Rebellion

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