2DII workshop of March 2, 2020 – substantiating environmental impact claims as an investor : what’s the standard of evidence ?

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29 June 2020

Date : Monday, March 2nd from 10am-1pm
Where : 2DII’s Paris office

In the context of the European Commission’s development of an EU Ecolabel for financial products, as well as upcoming regulations on environmental disclosures for financial institutions, the question of how to substantiate environmental impact claims is becoming increasingly critical.

In light of these developments, 2DII held a workshop to discuss forthcoming research papers, featuring Julian Kölbel and Florian Heeb, University of Zürich, Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth; Stan Dupré and Pablo Felmer Roa, 2° Investing Initiative (2DII).

Overview of the papers:

1. Compliance of Environmental Impact Claims Associated With ‘Sustainable’ Retail Funds (2DII, forthcoming)

In this research paper, 2DII studied a sample of 230 European sustainability-related funds with a total of €139 billion in AuM. It concluded that 50% of funds made environmental ‘investor impact’ claims of some kind. Critically, all but one were not substantiated with evidence and were not aligned with the EU regulatory guidance on environmental marketing claims.

Confirmed participants received advance copy of the draft report.

2. Can Sustainable Investing Save the World? Reviewing the Mechanisms of Investor Impact (Kölbel (J.), Heeb (F.), Paetzhold (F.), Busch (T.), 2019

The second paper is a state-of-the art review of academic papers on the ex-ante evidence available for investors who want to deliver environmental impacts in the real economy. It defines ‘investor impact’ and discusses the evidence available on the effectiveness of different techniques (engagement, capital allocation, etc.)

The paper is available here