In recent years, sustainable finance has become an essential part of business strategy. To explore the challenges, issues and opportunities in this area, we’ve created a three-part series on BMO’s Capital Markets blog. Written by Manju Seal, BMO’s Head of Sustainable Finance – Advisory, the series provides an overview of this complex topic, and offers a path forward for helping to make the world a better place – and generating positive social and environmental impact while building financial returns over long-term.
The first part of the series, Sustainable Finance: Investing in a Better Future, focuses on the role financial institutions can play in addressing major global challenges, including world hunger and financial inclusion. Manju provides a working definition of sustainable finance – and a discussion of the significant economic opportunities that go along with it. She also outlines key topics in sustainable investing, and describes the systems thinking required for it to work.
The second part, Sustainable Finance: Reimagining Products for Lasting Benefit, explores new product development in the sector. For sustainable finance to go mainstream, the number of products available in this category has to grow. Simply put, the world needs a more diverse set of sustainable investment offerings to help foster the development of new technologies, ground-breaking ideas and products. This piece explores some of the exciting new ideas in this area, as well as some of the barriers to creating new products. There’s also a discussion of how big data, AI and machine learning are enabling faster product development – which will enable us to keep growing the good.
The third part of the series launched this month. Purpose & ESG: Transforming Corporations While Building Long-Term Profit addresses the connection between a company’s purpose and their long-term profits – and how ESG can act as an accelerator. It’s increasingly important for corporations to fully understand the impact their ESG profile has among stakeholders and shareholders. People expect businesses to link purpose and profit, and in the future, a company’s performance will be measured by its purpose, financial and ESG criteria and impact metrics. This piece explores the path to that future.
It’s an exciting time in the world of sustainable finance to boldly grow the good. Transformation is on the horizon, and companies have more opportunities to innovate in this space than ever before. Through collaboration, holistic thinking and innovation, we can all help to make a positive difference.
You can follow Manju Seal’s thought leadership content in writing and podcasts here.