UN Global Compact / UNEP FI Joint Workshop on Investors and Sustainability

,17 September, 2003 | Washington, DC, USA

Overview

The and UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) hosted a workshop on 17 September, 2003 in Washington, DC to develop a strategy for raising awareness within the mainstream financial community to the value of sustainable investment.

Introduction

‘Global Compact Policy Dialogue 2002’ was held on the topic of Business and Sustainable Development, organised jointly by the and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). One of the issues discussed during the Dialogue was the linkage between financial markets and sustainability performance. During the course of the discussions, a need was identified for examining the ways in which sustainability could attract greater attention from the investment community. In order to develop a strategy for raising the awareness of mainstream investors to the value of sustainable investment, UNEP Finance Initiatives was asked to act as the UN Global Compact secretariat to convene a workshop that will build upon the developments of these dialogues and develop an effective awareness raising strategy.

Objectives

The overall objective of the workshop was to develop a global strategy for raising the awareness of mainstream investors by providing the investment community with a consistent message that also provides new means of understanding the valuation of sustainability performance. The meeting focused on:
  • Identifying the barriers for sustainable investment the mainstream financial community
  • Providing mechanisms for financiers to translate sustainable operations into financial costs to understand the value of sustainable operations
  • Developing a framework for effectively informing mainstream investors of the benefits of sustainable investment
  • Clearer definition of “sustainable investment” and establishment of a classification system for SRI strategies.