Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

The European Commission Moves Towards Building Sustainable Finance Infrastructure


HLEG releases interim report to advise the EU towards developing “sustainable finance”.

Dailycsr.com – 15 November 2017 – It is a matter of only a year ago when the European Commission had made an announcement of establishing a “High Level Expert Group”, in short HLEG, for receiving advise on “developing a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance”, reported Vikas Vij.
In December 2016, the HLEG was created which consisted of twenty members from three sectors namely, academics, public and finance. As a result, the advisory group is now out with an “interim report” including “some key recommendations”. As Vij writes:
“They include developing a classification system for sustainable assets; establishing a European standard and label for green bonds; and creating a dedicated organization to help channel finance towards infrastructure projects”.
Keeping the financial system of Europe in mind, the HLEG body has noted “two major imperatives”, whereby the first one is about making sure to place ESG factors at the “heart of financial decision-making”, for in Vij’s words:
“The HLEG report assigns it a larger significance, linking it to greater financial stability and improved asset pricing”.
While, the second one talks about directing “more capital towards sustainable and inclusive growth”. The report suggests that capital should be mobilised into solving the “key challenges” faced by the society as it requires “long-term” finance support to create jobs, improve on education as well as pension funds, addressing “inequality, and accelerating the shift to a de-carbonized and resource-efficient economy”.
On the day the interim report was released, HLEG’s chair as well as AXA Group’s Head of Strategy, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Christian Thimann played the role of the interim report’s presenter at a round table discussion of “Eurosif”, namely “the European Sustainable Investment Association”. According to Thimann, as Vij writes, “sustainability is not just ESG, but so much more. It is the vision of an economic model that is sustainable in an economic sense, as well as socially and environmentally”.
While, Eurosif’s Executive Director, Flavia Micilotta was of the opinion that the report pushed forward the need to understand the requirement of “a fundamental paradigm shift”. Furthermore, Vij also added:
“The European Commission has already started working on some measures the HLEG mentioned in its report, and may decide on the concrete follow-up to the HLEG recommendations by the end of next year”.