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Deciphering Sustainable Finance

  • 27.08.2020

While we often hear about sustainable finance and its benefits to society and the environment, sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of all the different terms used to describe these sustainable initiatives. To stay up-to-date on these ever evolving and crucial subjects, we take a look at defining sustainable finance’s most important elements.

ESG criteria

The extra-financial criteria used to evaluate a business Environmental, Social and Governance. All of which are examined during financing and investment processes.

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Sustainable finance

A term that refers to all financial operations that take ESG criteria into account.
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Solidarity based saving accounts

An offer with two benefits for investors looking to put their money to good use through savings accounts tied to companies and organizations that are heavily involved in social or environmental issues.
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Impact investing

An investment strategy aiming to bring together financial performance with social, environmental and societal impacts based on measurable criteria.
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SRI (Socially Responsible Investment)

The application of sustainable development principles (ESG criteria) to financial investments. In addition to traditional financial performance indicators.
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Microfinance

A section of finance that allows populations with limited means to have access to financial services: loans, savings accounts, insurance, money transfers… Microfinance is a tool for social inclusion. Most often it takes the form of a micro-loan.

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Green bonds

Bonds offered by institutions, organizations and businesses with a goal of financing ecological projects.
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Social Impact Bonds

Allow for the financing of social innovations by private investments that are in fine, reimbursed by public authorities as concrete and measurable goals toward social impacts are met.
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Social entrepreneurship

This term refers to businesses who have made it their primary objective to make a positive social or environmental impact through a sustainable economic model. These businesses work toward effective and innovative solutions to major issues such as professional integration, or access to housing and education, etc.
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Photo credit ©PiyawatNandeenoparit

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