Sustainable finance sector looking to become more professional

12 September 2023 08:02

Liechtenstein BankersWinterthur CCGreater Zurich

Winterthur - The Swiss Green Economy Symposium 2023 in Winterthur also discussed factors that can promote or hinder a sustainable finance sector. Experts were in agreement that there is a strong correlation between higher market shares for sustainable investments and the professionalization and digital orientation of the market players themselves.

“This much is true also for finance: sustainability and digitalization go hand in hand” – so claimed Simon Tribelhorn at the Swiss Green Economy Symposium 2023 in Winterthur. The CEO of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association (LBA) was one of the conference’s keynote speakers, who sought to analyze critical success factors for and the challenges facing the establishment of sustainable finance sectors.

All systems are go in this area. For example, in 2022, sustainability-related funds accounted for more than half of the volume of the Swiss fund market as a whole. Moritz Reisser, co-head of research at the sustainable rating agency Inrate emphasized: “The data situation for evaluating sustainability activities is constantly improving. Automation also benefits analysis”.

Experts are highly appreciative of optimizations in this field due to the fact that data is still incomplete. Fabio Oliveira, Senior ESG Officer at Zurich Invest, provided detailed insights into the decarbonization trends related to various forms of investment: “The data quality is very high for stocks and shares, but data coverage is much lower for bonds in particular”. Another factor to consider is that measuring the impact of sustainable investments occasionally still presents a real challenge, according to Christin ter Braak-Forstinger from Chi Impact Capital. This can most likely be guaranteed in the area of Impact Investing, where sustainable solutions are promoted immediately.

The prevailing view of the symposium was that new approaches promise a greater degree of transparency and cooperation. Simon Tribelhorn touched upon the opportunities presented by blockchain technology. The LBA put the benefits promised by blockchain under the microscope as part of a CO2 project: “In terms of energy consumption, the blockchain platforms are worlds apart”, according to Tribelhorn, who added: “The comparison was a valuable exercise”.

In addition, the potential of blended finance for the purposes of development aid was highlighted by several speakers. Blended finance relates to financing mechanisms in which private capital is acquired for projects in addition to public or philanthropic funding. ce/yvh

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