Banks and civil society outline sustainable finance reforms

New report “New pathways: Building blocks for a sustainable finance future for Europe”

Brussels, 25 September 2017- Finance Watch, together with GABV and Mission 2020, today published a white paper on financial sector reforms that could help deliver a sustainable finance transformation in Europe.

New pathways: Building blocks for a sustainable finance future for Europe (pdf, 28 pages)

The report, launched at an event hosted by the Bruegel think tank in Brussels earlier today with Triodos CEO Peter Blom, identifies eleven reforms that would help to build a renewed and sustainable financial system, including realigning finance with society’s needs and helping individual citizens to invest in a sustainable economy.

Benoît Lallemand, Secretary General of Finance Watch, said:

“It has been a pleasure to work with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, Mission2020 and the other contributors who together produced this report. The recommendations come from both pioneers in the banking sector and civil society representatives, and I invite policymakers and the members of the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance to explore them as part of their essential work on making the financial sector sustainable and putting it at the service of a sustainable economy.”

The recommendations include:

  • Sustainability assessments for bank assets
  • Banks to formulate their purpose in public and in line with the SDGs and the mission 2020 agenda
  • Capital requirements with sustainability weightings
  • Guarantees, subsidies and technical assistance to stimulate investment in the sustainable economy
  • Revenue-neutral ‘sustainability levy’ mechanism for financial assets
  • Toolkit to increase the diversity of business models within the financial sector
  • Create a European hub for sustainable infrastructure investments
  • Create a ‘UCISS’ regime for sustainable securities to make it easier for citizens to invest in sustainable assets
  • Training for finance workers on sustainability issues
  • Reporting of sustainability metrics for financial institutions
  • Loyalty shares to encourage longer term outlook in corporate governance



The report was launched at the Bruegel event, How can sustainable finance contribute to the Paris climate goals?, in Brussels on 25 September 2017.

See also:

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) is an independent, growing network of banks using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental development. Founded in 2009, members include 43 financial institutions and seven strategic partners operating in countries across Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America, North America and Europe. Collectively the GABV serves more than 41 million customers, holds up to $127 billion of combined assets under management, and is powered by a network of more than 48,000 co-workers. Learn more at

Mission 2020 is a global initiative launched in April 2017 by Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Mission 2020 aims to bring together political, business and civil society leaders to accelerate efforts to “bend the curve on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020”. The initiative has set out six milestones to achieve by 2020 in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, in energy, infrastructure, transport, land use, industry and finance. Learn more at

Set up in 2011, Finance Watch is an independent non-profit association with a mission of making finance serve society. It acts as a public interest counterweight to the powerful financial lobby. Its mission is to strengthen the voice of society in the reform of financial regulation by conducting advocacy and presenting public interest arguments to lawmakers and citizens. Finance Watch has 46 member organizations and 30 individual expert members from 14 different countries in Europe. Learn more at

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