Digital library on sustainable finance

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TITLE Fintech for Biodiversity: A global landscape
AUTHOR Green Digital Finance Alliance
PUBLISHED Apr 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The report Fintech for Biodiversity looks at the ways digital biodiversity data could be deployed for use in financial decision-making. The report describes ways in which digital technologies in general, and fintech specifically could be harnessed to empower ordinary citizens to embrace biodiversity finance: whether as retail investors via security token offerings, or (in case of rainforest inhabitants and other relevant communities) as duly compensated monitors of biodiversity.

The report acknowledges certain barriers and suggests ways how the creative deployment of fintech might might help overcome these.

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Fintech for Biodiversity_FINAL_30.32020 (pdf 2.8 MB)
TITLE A Comprehensive Overview of Global Biodiversity Finance
AUTHOR Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
PUBLISHED Apr 2020
LANGUAGES FR  EN 
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Summary

In 2019, the OECD provided a preliminary overview on global biodiversity finance in the report Biodiversity: Finance and the Economic Business Case for Action.  This follow-up report provides an in-depth analysis of global biodiversity finance flows. It combines and aggregates information across various datasets, covering public, private, domestic and international flows. The report also provides an overview of government support potentially harmful to biodiversity, and offers recommendations for improving the assessment, tracking and reporting of biodiversity finance.

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TITLE The SNB misleads Switzerland’s financial centre on climate change
AUTHOR Artisans de la Transition
PUBLISHED Apr 2020
LANGUAGES DE  FR  EN 
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Summary

This report analyses the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) climate risk management policy and comes to the conclusion that the SNB has not adequately assessed the colossal and potentially irreversible systemic risk that climate change poses to the Swiss financial system and the economy as a whole.

Drawing on the steps taken by European central banks in acknowledging the enormous economic and financial impacts of global warming that have already begun, the report makes recommendations for the SNB to drop its wait-and-see attitude, to break with the passive management of its portfolio and to adopt, as soon as possible and in coordination with politicians, a vision and a strategy to flatten the climate risks curve as soon as possible.

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TITLE Studie zur ESG-Berichterstattung Schweiz
AUTHOR IRF Reputation
PUBLISHED Apr 2020
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

Diese Studie der SMI Expanded Unternehmen geht der Frage nach, wie die Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung in den grössten börsenkotierten Schweizer Unternehmen bereits verankert und ausgestaltet ist. Sie gibt erste Hinweise darauf, ob und wie das Thema in Zusammenhang mit der gegenwärtigen Covid-19-Krise an Bedeutung gewinnen oder verlieren wird. Dabei wurde Folgendes festgestellt:

  • Rund 70% der grössten börsenkotierten Schweizer Firmen rapportieren nach den GRI-Richtlinien.
  • Rund ein Drittel der Firmen hat laut Angaben im Bericht ihre Anstrengungen in den letzten fünf Jahren signifikant erhöht.
  • 15 der Firmen bekennen sich in ihrem Bericht klar zu den Pariser Klimazielen und richten ihre Strategie danach aus.
  • Schwächen bestehen im Bereich der Wesentlichkeitsanalysen und der Integration von ESG-Themen in die zentralen Prozesse.

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TITLE Green Bond Treasurer Survey
AUTHOR Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI)
PUBLISHED Apr 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The Green Bond Treasurer Survey 2020 interviewed 86 treasurers from 34 countries to identify core benefits and challenges of issuing green bonds and provides guidance to potential newcomers into green financial markets. The survey explores the end-to-end process of issuing a green bond and solicited treasurer's views on integrated sustainability and the potential to enhance growth and scale of the market.

Headline findings include

  • 98% of respondents said that their green bond attracted new investors
  • 91% of respondents said a green bond facilitated more engagement with investors
  • 88% of respondents said they planned to issue more green bonds
  • 84% of the green bonds in the sample, are listed on at least one stock exchange
  • 70% of respondents said the demand for their green bond was higher
  • 48% responded that the cost of funding green bonds was similar to that of vanilla equivalents

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TITLE Point of No Returns. A ranking of 75 of the world’s asset managers approaches to responsible investment
AUTHOR ShareAction
PUBLISHED Mar 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report examines 75 of the most influential asset managers worldwide on responsible investment governance, climate change, biodiversity and human rights. The asset managers are scored based on their performance on responsible investment governance, human rights, climate change and biodiversity.

The results showed that the majority of asset managers demonstrate a substandard approach to responsible investment

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TITLE Taxonomy: Final report of the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance
AUTHOR EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance
PUBLISHED Mar 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report sets out the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG)'s final recommendations to the European Commission. It contains recommendations relating to the overarching design of the Taxonomy, as well as guidance on how users (investors and companies) of the Taxonomy can develop Taxonomy disclosures. It contains a summary of the economic activities covered by the technical screening criteria.

The final report is supplemented by a Technical Annex and Taxonomy spreadsheets.

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TITLE Taxonomy: Technical Annex
AUTHOR EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance
PUBLISHED Mar 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This Technical Annex supplements the TEG final report on the EU taxonomy. The Technical Annex contains a full list of revised or additional technical screening criteria for economic activities which can substantially contribute to climate change mitigation or adaptation (including assessment of significant harm to other environmental objectives), and methodological statements to support the main recommendations made by the TEG.

The TEG final report on the EU taxonomy and the Technical Annex are supplemented by Taxonomy spreadsheets.

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TITLE Integrating Climate-related Risks into Banks’ Capital Requirements
AUTHOR Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE)
PUBLISHED Mar 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Climate-related risks continue to potentially endanger the stability of the financial sector, but they are only marginally addressed by Basel III capital requirements. This situation gave rise to the discussion about using capital requirements to address both the climate investment gap and climate-related risks. For several years now, the idea of using capital requirements for environmental purposes has been gaining ground. The debate has gained more attention in Europe with the mandate given early 2019 by the Commission to the European Banking Authority (EBA) to report on the possibility of introducing a prudential treatment in accordance with environmental and social objectives.

However, before this can happen, several questions about such requirements need to be resolved, particularly as regards the instrument to be used and the objective to be achieved. This report looks at these questions and aims to show the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches, in particular a Green Supporting Factor (GSF) or a Brown Penalizing Factor (BPF).

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TITLE The Global Green Finance Index 5
AUTHOR Z/YEN
PUBLISHED Mar 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The fifth edition of the Global Green Finance Index (GGFI 5) was published on 24 March 2020. GGFI 5 provides evaluations of the depth and quality of the green finance offerings of 67 major financial centres around the world. The GGFI serves as a valuable reference into the development of green finance for policy and investment decision-makers.

The GGFI is updated and published every March and September. The GGFI is compiled using 135 instrumental factors. These quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD and the United Nations. The instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the GGFI online questionnaire.

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TITLE EU Green Bond Standard: Usability Guide
AUTHOR EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance
PUBLISHED Mar 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

On 9 March 2020, the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) issued further guidance on in relation to its recommendations for an EU Green Bond Standard (EU GBS), by publishing a Usability Guide. This guide offers market actors guidance on the use of the proposed standard and the set-up of a market-based registration scheme for external verifiers.

Recommendations and a model for an EU GBS were published by the TEG in its report June 2019 (see full report or 2-page summary). The TEG proposes that the Commission creates a voluntary, non-legislative EU Green Bond Standard to enhance the effectiveness, transparency, comparability and credibility of the green bond market and to encourage the market participants to issue and invest in EU green bonds.

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TITLE Rate the Raters 2020: Investor Survey and Interview Results
AUTHOR SustainAbility (Christina Wong & Erika Petroy)
PUBLISHED Mar 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The Rate the Raters reports attempt shed light on how ESG ratings are being used, to better understand the universe of external sustainability ratings and to influence and improve the quality and transparency of such ratings.

The 2020 report shares insights from 17 in-depth interviews with investors, supplemented by a survey of 25 investors, highlighting their views on current ESG ratings and how they use these ratings to evaluate ESG topics. It includes findings on where investors get ESG information, how often they use ESG ratings, investor critiques of ESG ratings and perceptions of specific ratings. The report also includes specific recommendations for companies on how to approach the ESG ratings landscape, get the most out of ESG ratings and improve ESG data disclosure.

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TITLE Klimawandel: Treuhänderische Pflichten der Finanzdienstleister
AUTHOR MME Legal Tax Compliance
PUBLISHED Feb 2020
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

This report investigates the extent to which climate-related financial risks are part of the fiduciary duty of financial service providers in Switzerland under current law. The analysis was conducted by MME based on a mandate by WWF Switzerland.

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TITLE Sustainable Investing. Shaping the future of finance
AUTHOR International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
PUBLISHED Feb 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report covers some of the major trends that will shape sustainable investing in the years to come. While assets under management with an environmental, social and governance impact (ESG) mandate are growing exponentially, there are some notable challenges ahead, including how to integrate sustainability considerations in passively managed portfolios tracking non-ESG indices and the lack of relevant capacities at financial institutions.

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TITLE Sustainable investing: fast-forwarding its evolution
AUTHOR KPMG & CREATE
PUBLISHED Feb 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This survey report examines in detail sustainable investing and its impact on the alternative investment industry. Focusing on hedge funds and institutional investors, together with best practice from the asset management sector, the report investigates how sustainable investing is gathering momentum across the investment universe.

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TITLE Nature is too big to fail. Biodiversity: the next frontier in financial risk management
AUTHOR WWF Switzerland and PwC Switzerland
PUBLISHED Jan 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report published by WWF Switzerland and PwC Switzerland finds that the financial risks associated with the loss of biodiversity will become increasingly important in 2020. As climate change and the loss of biodiversity mutually reinforce each other, decision-makers face a huge challenge to respond to this double crisis, as the risk of financial market instability significantly increases.

The report suggests a typology of four financial biodiversity-related financial risks: physical, transition, litigation and systemic risks. The report further highlights what can be learnt from the discussions around climate-related financial risks, provides a framework on how to integrate biodiversity losses into the classical risk framework of financial institutions and also includes recommendations to financial regulators/central banks, financial market players and states/international organisations.

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TITLE The State of Impact Measurement and Management Practice: Second Edition
AUTHOR Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
PUBLISHED Jan 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The second edition of the State of Impact Measurement and Management Practice reflects the increased sophistication and maturation of impact measurement and management (IMM) practices since the release of the survey’s first edition in 2017.

Based on data from 278 impact investors—including 109 two-year repeat respondents—this report provides the most comprehensive view of how impact investors assess their social and environmental impact, and the trends that have shaped IMM practices in the past two years. The report indicates that impact investors universally agree that IMM is imperative and it underscores how investors are increasingly focused on driving greater impact results.

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TITLE Sustainable Finance - Market Practices
AUTHOR European Banking Authority (EBA)
PUBLISHED Jan 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This paper aims to assess the understanding of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations within the banking context and examines the current market practices in this area. To that extent this paper sets out the various definitions of ESG factors and also sets out how these then are converted into and treated as ESG risks. This paper relies upon the lessons learnt from a survey developed by the EBA to gain insights into current market practices with regard to credit institutions’ approach to incorporating ESG considerations into their frameworks.

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TITLE Climate In The Boardroom: How Asset Manager Voting Shaped Corporate Climate Action In 2019
AUTHOR Majority Action
PUBLISHED Jan 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report reviews the contributions, or lack thereof, of the world’s 25 largest asset managers to hold large U.S. energy and utility companies accountable to combat climate change and the risks it poses to long-term shareholders and other stakeholders. With increasing concentration in the investment industry, these 25 firms collectively manage over $38 trillion and account for over 51% of the assets managed by the 400 largest asset managers worldwide. The report comes to the conclusion that the world's largest asset managers often used their shareholder power to undermine global investor efforts to hold recalcitrant fossil fuel and utility companies accountable for their failures on climate and their irresponsible lobbying.

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TITLE Global Climate Finance Survey: A Look At How Financial Firms Are Approaching Climate Risk Analysis, Measurement, And Disclosure
AUTHOR Institute of International Finance (IIF) and European Banking Federation (EBF)
PUBLISHED Jan 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The Institute of International Finance (IIF) and European Banking Federation (EBF) conducted a joint survey of their members. The survey of 70 financial firms around the world, with total assets of nearly $40 trillion, finds that the streamlining of measurement and disclosure frameworks, and increased international collaboration, are key to strengthening the climate-related risk analysis and reporting toolkit.

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TITLE Green Bonds: Effectiveness and Implications for Public Policy
AUTHOR Caroline Flammer
PUBLISHED Jan 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This paper uses firm-level data on green bonds issued by public companies, to examine companies’ financial and environmental performance following the issuance of green bonds. The author finds that the stock market responds positively to the announcement of green bond issues, and also documents a significant increase in environmental performance, suggesting that green bonds are indeed effective in improving companies’ environmental footprint. However, these findings are only significant for green bonds that are certified by independent third parties, suggesting that certification is an important governance mechanism in the green bond market.

This paper was published in Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy 1, no. (2020): 95-128.

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TITLE Toward Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation
AUTHOR World Economic Forum (WEF)
PUBLISHED Jan 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

A challenge that companies (including financial institutions) face in demonstrating long‑term value creation is the absence of a generally accepted international framework for the reporting of material aspects of ESG and other relevant considerations for long‑term value creation. This contrasts with the well‑established standards that exist for reporting and verifying financial performance.

The subsequent report therefore proposes a common, core set of metrics and recommended disclosures that can be used to align mainstream reporting and, in so doing, reduce fragmentation and encourage faster progress towards a systemic solution, perhaps to include a generally accepted international accounting standard. The metrics and disclosures proposed have been organized in four pillars that are aligned with the SDGs and principal ESG domains: Principles of governance, Planet, People and Prosperity.

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TITLE Climate risk assessment of the sovereign bond portfolio of European insurers
AUTHOR Battiston S., Jakubik P., Monasterolo I., Riahi K. , & van Ruijven B.
PUBLISHED Dec 2019
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This publication is a collaboration between climate economists, climate financial risk modellers and financial regulators, and applies the CLIMAFIN framework described in Battiston at al. (2019) to provide a forward-looking climate transition risk assessment of the sovereign bonds’ portfolios of solo insurance companies in Europe. It was published in the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) December 2019 Financial Stability Report.

The authors consider a scenario of a disorderly introduction of climate policies that cannot be fully anticipated and priced in by investors. They find that the potential impact of a disorderly transition to low-carbon economy on insurers portfolios of sovereign bonds is moderate in terms of its magnitude, but non-negligible in several scenarios. Thus, climate policy scenarios should be regularly monitored and assessed given the importance of sovereign bonds in insurers’ investment portfolios.

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2019 Thematic Review - Climate risk assessment of the sovereign bond portfolio of European insurers.pdf - EN (pdf 512.1 kB)
TITLE Focus: EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance. Effects on Swiss Financial Institutions.
AUTHOR Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF)
PUBLISHED Dec 2019
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This publication, part of the SSF Focus series, provides an overview and status report of five of the key EU sustainable finance initiatives most relevant to Swiss financial institutions. The publication also contains a section on how Swiss institutions may be affected by the EU legislative measures, providing suggestions on a possible course of action. Additionally, the Focus looks at Swiss policy-related developments occurring in the area of sustainable finance.

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TITLE Sustainable Investing Capabilities of Private Banks. Report #3: Assessment of 20 European Private Banks
AUTHOR Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP)
PUBLISHED Nov 2019
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

From late 2018 to early 2019, the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP) at the University of Zurich conducted its third round of research on the sustainable investing (SI) capabilities of private banks.

The report examines the sustainable investing vision, offering, and services of 20 European banks and features special chapters on the impact of the EU Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth and private banking and its alignment with international environmental goals. The authors found that in comparison to 2018, banks’ offerings have improved in terms of both range and depth.

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