On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, ERM and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) hosted a rich discussion with the finance community in London to discuss the WBCSD’s Vision 2050, which sets out a world where 9 billion + people can live well, within planetary boundaries.

Attended by C-suite participants from commercial banks, private equity, pension funds and advisory services, as well as Keryn James, ERM Group CEO, Sabine Hoefnagel, ERM Director of Services, Brand and Communications, and Jaideep Das, ERM Regional Client Director, the event was rooted in the question - what is the role of the finance sector in accelerating the systems transformation required to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs)?

All agreed that the cost of capital is already affected by sustainability performance and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework provides a strong model for integrating not only climate change but also other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the investment decision making processes.

The discussion also covered areas for action in the sector, including:

  • the need global, regional and national regulators to step up to the mark to create a level playing field,
  • better tracking of changes in government policies and societal preferences to sustainability aspects in products and services,
  • enhanced awareness of the investment opportunities behind the sustainability megatrends to inspire the entrepreneurs, and
  • better recognition from the investors as to what “good ESG performance” looks like to lead to more informed investment decisions.

The event fostered an excellent discussion on the increasing importance placed on sustainability in the corporate agenda, particularly within the finance sector, and additional events will follow over the coming months.