Sustainability: Seizing the opportunity

Sustainability: Seizing the opportunity

Whether it’s what you wear or where you invest, everyone can contribute to the sustainable finance transformation. That’s the message from AJ Singh and Giulia Bruni Roccia, Head of Sustainable Investing and Head of Corporate Sustainability, respectively, at Quintet Private Bank.

Consider how the way we think about money and investing has changed. Today, your kid’s favorite sneaker brand, in which you might be an investor, must not only produce cool shoes but also use eco-friendly materials and ensure fair wages. That's the ongoing transformation we are witnessing in sustainable finance.

Think about brands like Nike, whose Flyknit Trainer generates on average of 60% less waste than traditional footwear. Meanwhile, luxury brands such as Stella McCartney, for example, are pioneering the use of regenerative cotton to create high-end fashion without harming the planet. Such companies are supporting the movement to make fashion more sustainable.

Or consider green bonds. They are similar to traditional bonds, but the capital invested funds projects that help the environment by building wind farms, for instance, or installing solar panels. And impact investing? That’s when you invest with the explicit intention of generating a positive environmental, social and/or governance (ESG) impact, alongside a positive financial return. 

Governments of course set rules and guidelines to make sure companies are transparent about their ESG practices. Here, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which entered into force in March 2021, was a game-changer. That EU regulation was designed to enable individuals to make more informed investment decisions by imposing on financial services firms a set of straightforward disclosure requirements on a range of ESG metrics.

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Plenty of additional regulations have followed – covering products, services and companies themselves – all with the same overarching aim of making it easier for everyone to understand what any claim of “sustainability” actually means in practice. 

At a time when there is far greater emphasis on ensuring that the same kind of ESG data is reported to the same standard, every financial services firm has a responsibility to contribute to the accessibility of such information. By doing so, customers will better understand that, amidst a jumble of jargon, these changes not only reflect regulatory concerns. Rather, at its essence, sustainable investing is an opportunity to potentially reduce risk, enhance long-term returns and contribute positively to the world we all share. 

As a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and a member of Climate Action 100+, Quintet is committed to clear, evidence-based communication on the critical topic of sustainability. We seek to grow with our clients – including by sharing knowledge and experience – as the partner of choice for all those who aspire to build a solid and sustainable financial future.

Sustainability: seizing the opportunity
This article was originally published in the March 2024 Paperjam Grands Dossiers.
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Head of Sustainable Investing

+44 020 7828 3353

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