A two-day forum on sustainable finance was held over the weekend at Shenzhen Finance Institute of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHKSZ), in Futian District, aiming to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in investment, green finance, inclusive finance, financial technology and investment impact in order to develop a sustainable financial system.
Some experts and industry-related guests pointed out that the future development of sustainable finance will shift to Asia, because the world’s economic power has transferred to Asia. Benjamin McCarron, specialist consultant of Asian Corporate Governance Association and managing director of Asia Research & Engagement, said that investor management and other activities have been further strengthened and developed in Asia, which is a positive sign.
According to Professor Xiong Wei, president of Shenzhen Finance Institute, by bridging the gap between traditional capitalism and the new context of shared economic and social value, sustainable and inclusive finance is quickly becoming a core part of the mission of governments, financial institutions and companies globally.
Chiu Tzu-kuan, a professor at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, added that this is the first time that the Chinese mainland has held such a forum to offer exchanges and dialogues between academia and industry.
Today’s investment managers have stepped in to offer high-impact products in their portfolios as investors begin to evaluate how they can invest in ways that will meet financial goals as well as support social and environmental change. Investors now care about ESG issues, due to the scarcity of resources, conflicts in community and labor relations, and climate change.
As a result, CUHKSZ, SAIF, Singapore Management University and Tsinghua University jointly organized the sustainable finance forum to encourage the submission of thought-provoking working papers with theoretical, empirical or methodological and research-design contributions.
Ge Xingan, president of China Emissions Exchange, revealed that Shenzhen is developing standards for green finance, including green funds, carbon finance products, environmental rights products and environmental information disclosure. A draft of green fund standards has been completed and will be released next year. A laboratory on green finance serving the real economy will be established in October.
“Sustainable finance is not about rules. It is about what kind of world we would like to see and how our lives are consistent with our values,” said Wayne Silby, founding chair of Calvert Funds/SynTao.