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Sustainable finance

 

This project sets out to analyse the influence of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the decisions of large companies to implement “green” investment projects, to identify and quantify the environmental and social footprints of institutional investors, to facilitate financial access to microfinance initiatives, and to implement a successful Swiss social stock exchange.

​Project description (ongoing research project)

The project comprises four interconnected subprojects. In the first subproject we will examine the influence NGOs may have on the choices of “green” investment projects by large companies. In the second we will seek to identify and quantify the environmental and social footprints of institutional investors’ portfolio holdings, and gain a better understanding of the relationship between institutional investors’ footprint measures and the risk-adjusted performance of investors. In the third subproject we will focus on ways to improve access to financial capital for microfinance investment vehicles and subsequently microfinance institutions. And the fourth subproject will focus on the implementation of a Swiss social stock exchange which will enable an efficient match between the demand and supply sides of funding.

Background

Knowledge about sustainable finance has steadily increased over the past few decades. Yet the mainstream economic literature still perceives firms as entities that solely seek to maximise profits and are insensitive to environmental and social aspects, as well as good corporate governance considerations. Based on this, research has largely omitted to consider the impacts of institutional investors such as banks and pension funds on the environment and society. In terms of financing, a truly workable sustainable stock exchange still needs to be implemented in order to further provide microfinance initiatives with funding.

Aims

The aim of this project is to build on the current status of research and make both a scientific and a practical contribution. We want to accomplish this by increasing the quantity and quality of available knowledge, devising sustainable policies rooted in scientific evidence, and implementing an operational Swiss sustainable stock exchange that will support environmental and social initiatives by offering financing opportunities to microfinance investment vehicles and microfinance institutions.

Importance

This project will provide widespread benefits to society by devising sustainable policies rooted in scientific evidence and by making a contribution towards the implementation of a sustainable stock exchange that will support environmental, social, and microfinance initiatives with funding. We will share the results with both academics and practitioners, such as economists of the OECD, members of Sustainable Finance Geneva, Swiss banks active in the field of sustainable finance, as well as policy makers and regulators.

Original title

New Approaches to Sustainable Finance

Project leader

Project leader

  • Prof. Dr. Jean-Charles Rochet, University of Geneva and Swiss Finance Institute, Geneva
  • Prof. Dr. Rajna Gibson Brandon, University of Geneva and Swiss Finance Institute, Geneva
  • Prof. Dr. Bernhard Balkenhol, University of Geneva, Geneva

Project partner

  • ​iGravity
  • IMPAAKT
  • Principles for Responsible Investment
  • Sustainable Finance Geneva

 

 

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 Contact

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Prof. Dr. Jean-Charles Rochet Université de Genève et Swiss Finance Institute Boulevard du Pont d’Arve 42 1211 Geneva 022 379 85 28 jean-charles.rochet@unige.ch

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