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Policy Contribution

Sustainable investing: How to do it

Sustainable investment is gaining momentum in Europe, but its current proposed taxonomy might hinder innovation in the field. In this Policy Contribution, Dirk Schoenmaker advocates for an active investment approach with concentrated portfolios, and sets out a six-point plan for sustainable investing.

By: and Date: November 28, 2018 Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation

In the transition to a sustainable economy, companies are increasingly adopting the goal of long-term value creation, which integrates financial, social and environmental value. Investors have an important stewardship role to steer companies to sustainable business practices that will achieve long-term value creation.

Policy proposals from the European Union High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, published in January 2018, promote a fiduciary duty to include sustainability in investment, company disclosure of sustainability information and a unified classification system (or taxonomy) of sustainable investments from which investors can choose. A fiduciary duty to include sustainability in the investment process and to disclose sustainability information can accelerate sustainable investment.

But an official taxonomy might stifle innovation in sustainable investment. While such a taxonomy might bring much needed clarity in certain markets, such as the emerging market for green bonds, the general approach to sustainable investment should be market-led. Investors and banks are best placed to assess which companies are prepared for the transition to a sustainable economy.

This Policy Contribution proposes an active investment approach to sustainable investment. This active approach is based on fundamental analysis of companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and engagement with investee companies on material ESG factors. The aim is to uncover and realise companies’ social and environmental value alongside their financial value.

Building on previous research (De Jong et al, 2017), we present a six-point plan for sustainable investing. These points range from active investment in concentrated portfolios and long investment horizons, to deep engagement with companies and shorter investment chains.

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Blog Post

Will European Union recovery spending be enough to fill digital investment gaps?

The recovery facility will boost digital transformation, but questions remain whether it will be sufficient to achieve Europe’s digital ambitions.

By: Zsolt Darvas, J. Scott Marcus and Alkiviadis Tzaras Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 20, 2021
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Upcoming Event

Sep
3
10:15

Sustainable finance

Bruegel Annual Meetings, Day 3 - In this session on the final day of the Meetings, our panelists will discuss the future of finance and its sustainability.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Alberto De Paoli, Pierre Heilbronn and Alexandra Jour-Schroeder Topic: Energy & Climate, Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Palais des Académies, Rue Ducale 1, Brussels
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External Publication

Building the Road to Greener Pastures

How the G20 can support the recovery with sustainable local infrastructure investment.

By: Mia Hoffmann, Ben McWilliams and Niclas Poitiers Topic: Global Economics & Governance, Testimonies Date: July 15, 2021
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Blog Post

SPACs in the gap

Special-purpose acquisition vehicles could fill a gap in European equity markets and lure risk-averse investors off the sidelines.

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: July 13, 2021
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Blog Post

The EU green bond standard: sensible implementation could define a new asset class

The proposed EU green bond standard will be less prone to ‘greenwashing’, and the widest possible set of issuers and jurisdictions should be encouraged to use the standard.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: July 13, 2021
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Blog Post

A breakdown of EU countries’ post-pandemic green spending plans

An analysis of European Union countries’ recovery plans shows widely differing green spending priorities.

By: Klaas Lenaerts and Simone Tagliapietra Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 8, 2021
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Blog Post

Banks in a net-zero Europe

A net-zero emissions target is a powerful incentive for the low-carbon transition, but for bank supervisors, climate-related risks, not climate outcomes, should remain the focus.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Energy & Climate, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: June 1, 2021
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Policy Contribution

How difficult is China's business environment for European and American companies?

Contrary to some narratives, China's business practices have improved, with a business environment that is generally more favourable than that in other large countries at similar levels of development.

By: Uri Dadush and Pauline Weil Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 26, 2021
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Opinion

Europe's crusade to fend off Chinese interference falls short

It is in everybody's interest for China to level the playing field among state-owned, private, and foreign companies so that no new distortionary measures need to be taken elsewhere.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 10, 2021
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Blog Post

China’s M&A activity rebounds with a clear focus on Europe

Despite the pandemic, China’s interest in overseas M&A started to rebound in late 2020, with European industrial companies still of particular interest.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Jianwei Xu Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 4, 2021
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Policy Contribution

Accounting for climate policies in Europe’s sovereign debt market

Sovereign debt will be vital in stimulating sustainable investment, but information is lacking on how green public spending actually is.

By: Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Alexander Lehmann Topic: Energy & Climate, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: May 3, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

Taking stock of global sustainability reporting

This closed-door event will discuss standards for the measurement and disclosure of climate-related exposures.

Speakers: Carole Crozat, Sonja Gibbs, Piers Haben, Lucile de la Jonquière, Alexander Lehmann, Sara Lovisolo, Fayyaz Muneer and Lee White Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 20, 2021
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