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Is Geneva really the world’s first sustainable finance center?

Is Geneva really the world’s first sustainable finance center?“Geneva is the world’s first sustainable finance center”, said Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard during a recent speech at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, where she defended the Swiss government’s opposition to the popular initiative for a green economy (Geneva is the only canton having voted yes). Sustainable finance, usually defined as the integration of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into financial decisions, has indeed been gaining importance in Geneva over the last years. For instance, the law establishing the pension fund of the canton (CPEG) indicates that it shall operate in line with the principles of sustainable development and responsible investment. In its economic strategy 2030, the canton intends to promote the development of Geneva as an international crossroads of sustainable finance. This vision is at the heart of Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG), an association founded in 2008 by a group of professionals convinced by the opportunity to connect the financial center with the locally-based international and non-governmental organisations, this “research laboratory on global issues”, in the words of Ivan Pictet, former managing partner of the Pictet Group. More…

Source: Antoine Mach, Covalence SA, Gencom newsletter October 2016

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