Sustainable development and the role of the financial world

22/01/2003
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Springer Netherlands

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The incapacity to finance sustainable development through philanthropic official assistance turned the Johannesburg Summit to business world and the financial industry. Pioneering financial institutions - including development banks and private banks - have developed a wide range of innovations that can support sustainable development. This article highlights a few innovative products and markets and focuses on the progress made by financial players on the level of standards, metrics and guidelines to improve sustainability management systems, reporting and accounting practices and the multi-stakeholder dynamic. The role of the socially responsible investing (SRI) community has been underexposed by the Summit. Through its voice and market success, SRI has moved from a green market niche to the mainstream, however not becoming mainstream. The invaluable levering effect of SRI has just been discovered by authorities and market regulators and is becoming instrumental. In order to show the business case of Corporate Social Responsibility and to prove the financial viability of the People, Planet, Prosperity investing approach, the SRI community should critically reflect on its own quality assurance systems, sound disclosure and verification practice

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Anglais