Examining the various facets of Sustainability and ESG – A new horizon in Banking and Finance?
The EBA hosted the Forum for Digital Transformation Forum, this time with a focus on the various facets of sustainability and ESG in banking and finance. Both technologies such as Blockchain and AI as well mindset, training and regulation were examined. Traxpay invited the more than 135 people registered to join their panel: “Connecting corporates and banks: Platforms as an enabler for Sustainability and Financial Inclusion”.
ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) as well as sustainability, collaboration, diversity, and new ways of working were the keywords of the conference. The E stands for Environmental and includes Climate Change (Decarbonization, Clean Energy) and Resource Scarcity (Biodiversity, Water scarcity, Waste reduction). The S is for Social and embodies the components of People and Values (Supply Chain Transparency, Diversity and Equal Rights, Reliable Human Ecosystems) and The Future of Work (Health & Safety, Social Infrastructure). Finally, the G stands for Corporate Responsibility (corporate governance and responsible institutions).
In most presentations, environmental issues, especially decarbonization and waste reduction, were mentioned as the most pressing and important topics. In addition, social issues such as diversity and the rights of individuals, as well as health and safety, were highlighted, regardless of industry sector. The fact that green in the supply chain can be quantified to show concrete savings for the sustainable supplier was highlighted by both Markus Rupprecht, CEO at Traxpay, and Tanja Reilly from EcoVadis. Together with Jochen Siegert, Deutsche Bank, they talked about the combined power of banks and fintechs to work hand-in-hand using platforms to promote and support green goals.
We learned that each individual, institution and government entity, globally, whether bank, fintech, company or regulator, can and must play their part to achieve the green goals of the future. We were able to listen to examples where companies have taken responsibility directly, pragmatically and quickly. Particularly memorable was the presentation by Ali Niknam, Founder & CEO at bunq, who talked about building a Sustainable Bank with bunq. The topic of bridge building was also a focus of the conference. Here we had an excellent presentation about Brygge with Cornelia Schwertner, Founder & CEO at Brygge and Barbara Buchalik, Founder and COO at Brygge, They discussed their solution for bridging the gap between banking services and technology for their client segment 55 and over.
The discussion was both exciting and deep, open, and at times provocative. The Chatham House rules enabled a very lively discussion at the forum making an entire day on Zoom a real pleasure. We are looking forward to the next EBA Forum, live and in person next June 22! Thanks to all the speakers and participants for an exciting Euro Banking Association (EBA) forum focusing on a greener future!