Primary markets increasingly direct funding – both equity and debt - to companies that invest in sustainable technologies and embrace sustainable management practices. Secondary market trading based on sustainability factors causes stock prices to reflect such factors rather than purely financial concerns. In addition to capital allocation, investors can also improve sustainability through voting and engagement. To fulfil these functions, investors and lenders need information on companies’ sustainability performance and impact. Key is to take a sufficiently long horizon because sustainability is about the future.
The theoretical and policy challenge is to integrate financial, social and environmental factors into decision-making and reporting. The Sustainable Finance RPN pursues a broad agenda covering topics in investment analysis (price formation, portfolio-selection, engagement and voting), corporate finance (investment decisions, employee and board compensation and corporate governance), banking (lending decisions, credit risk analysis and loan covenants), corporate reporting (emerging sustainable reporting standards, impact measurement and assurance) and financial regulation (taxonomy, fiduciary duty and capital adequacy framework). Reflecting the growing concerns around climate change and reacting to the huge financial sector interest in ESG issues and impact measurement, the aim of this RPN is to foster research in the area of sustainable finance and to make it mainstream.
Leadership of the RPN is supported by a Steering Committee:- Patrick Bolton (Imperial College London and Columbia University), Alex Edmans (London Business School) and Stefan Reichelstein (University of Mannheim and Stanford University)
The Sustainable Finance RPN will host several events, including an annual meeting.
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