On responsible investments and a tale of two narratives
On responsible investments and a tale of two narratives
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (from Charles Dickens ‘A Tale of two Cities’, i.e. London and Paris during the French revolution)

Veckans Affärer organized an interesting summit with many well known, national and international, people from the financial industry. The main theme of the afternoon was around how the financial sector can be a part of the solution to the climate crisis.

The most interesting part from the summit was probably the keynote speech by Per Bolund, Swedish Minister of Financial Markets. He gave us some of his thoughts on the role financial markets can and should play as well as some interesting info from the political scene before the important meeting in Paris later this year; during COP21. The world needs cooperation and common goals now and it seems that COP21 could deliver some of that. There are some proofs already that we are ready to come together and rewrite the goals for coming years. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), established in 2000, opened the door for the new Sustainable Development Goals. Many critics thought that the MDGs wouldn´t deliver any progress at all but today, 15 years later, the world looks much better in many areas that MDGs covered. The new 17 goals,  as defined in transforming our world - the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, will have a chance to take humanity much further. If the MDGs focused on the developing world and their issues (to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger etc.) the new goals are including the developed world too. We all have to take our part to take care of our planet and us living here. Per Bolund predicts that different sustainable areas (social, environmental etc.) will merge in coming years. Very much in line with what we think too, businesses should integrate the purpose in their core business; in everything they do!

Something is happening in the business world right now, especially here in Sweden. Politics, usually years behind the best businesses in sustainable progress, are showing us some of the pretty cool targets they have for coming years;

Sweden should be one of the first fossil free welfare countries, Sweden should make sure we promote ambitious and fair agreement for stronger climate action for all countries around the world. Great signs that we now have strong ambitions to focus on our planet as a whole and do our part in creating a world we can be proud of. We like it!

We really need to change our investors DNA.. which is not easily done by regulations. More so it’s a management issue. Owners, boards and leadership teams need to drive this development. The culture they create will beat most incentives politicians can create. Nevertheless, politicians must do everything in their power to encourage (force!) irresponsible investors and companies to wake up and change the way the go about things.