The financial services industry is undergoing a period of significant uncertainty right now. Tensions between some of the world’s largest trading nations, the back-and-forth over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the exploding risk from cyber-crime against both individuals and enterprises and red lights flashing over the resilience of major economies globally – all major talking points across the media, politics and commerce.
Despite the undoubted seriousness of all of these issues though, the sustainability of our economic activities is the theme that’s really attracting attention consistently – and persistently – around the world. Global climate change protests have brought the environmental aspects of sustainability to the fore but the importance of the social and governance elements of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) should also not be overlooked.
The social spotlight is on the health of company relationships with all stakeholder communities; this is not just in relation to the values shared with customers and suppliers but most notably with the treatment of global workers in an atmosphere of rising competition and desire to minimize costs for the benefit of revenue and profit.
On the governance side, enterprises find themselves increasingly pressured over the performance of their leadership, their executive pay models, their policies and controls and the rights of their shareholders. The desire for transparency into company operations has never been greater.
That said, the issues of pollution and climate change are front and center of the majority of people’s thoughts right now. Concerns about the state of our planet’s future from across the generations are impossible to ignore. And, as the engine of economic growth, the financial services industry is at the heart of this debate.
Currently, that debate is focused on the enormous scale of finance that will be required to decarbonize economies. James Kirkup, Director of think-tank The Social Market Foundation, argues that the finance industry has an instrumental role to play in this process by facilitating both the allocation of investment and measurement of environmental standards.
This might help to overcome accusations of “greenwashing” in the industry as the balance between intention and reality starts to be met. It might also assist in alleviating the tension being felt by institutions seeking to invest more in sustainable companies where the actual availability of sustainable investments is limited - all while the demand from investors themselves continues to grow.
These hot topics will be among those debated at LuxFLAG’s inaugural Sustainable Investing Week, a series of events being held between the 22nd and 24th October at locations around Luxembourg. LuxFLAG Sustainable Investing Week (LSIW) will be attended by participants from across Europe and the USA and will cover issues like ESG's impact on investment and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
SDL is a sponsor at LSIW, promoting our translation capabilities for all regulated financial content. SDL has considerable experience in translating ESG content through our Language Services teams around the world. In particular, we have undertaken dozens of successful projects for financial services providers in both Europe and Asia in areas like ESG and Corporate Social Responsibility reporting, prospectus translation, Key Investor Information Document (KIID) development and shareholder communications.