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Investing in the planet

WWF is supporting the financial services sector to take positive climate and nature action.

Encouraging the financial sector to adopt planet-friendly practices is an important part of building the sustainable future we all want to see.

We’re supporting the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) work to share good practice from across the world, to enable countries to learn from each other and encourage monetary policies and financial regulations that consider nature and the climate.

From the Amazon rainforests to the Great Barrier Reef, WWF works on every continent to conserve the world´s biodiversity, restore natural habitats and species, and ensure that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable.

To make its conservation work possible, WWF’s influence and expertise extends beyond the natural world and into the financial and government systems that affect it.

One specific area WWF is focusing on is the impact the financial sector has on our climate and on nature. Its sustainable finance team engages with the sector and advocates for the adoption of sustainable finance policies to reduce negative impact.

Actions taken within the financial sector have a huge influence over how and where money is directed. Sustainable finance is all about re-directing finance to support the projects and systems that will help our planet to remain healthy, rather than harm it.

By demonstrating the value of nature and the link between financial and environmental risk, we aim to redirect the flow of finance away from activities that harm our planet toward those that generate sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits.

Maud Abdelli
Lead WWF Greening Financial Regulation Initiative

“The financial system is the lifeblood of the economy,” explains Jérôme Crugnola-Humbert, director, sustainability services, Deloitte Switzerland.

“What is not financed or insured doesn't happen, and what insurers or banks end up financing and insuring – or not – ultimately has a great deal of impact on the physical world.”

Lending and Investment decisions have long-term environmental impacts, so it’s important to make sure money is invested in the right places sooner rather than later.

WWF’s sustainable finance work includes highlighting the potential benefits of investing in and insuring more environmentally friendly projects and sectors which, while gathering momentum in parts of the financial world, is not happening quickly enough.

It’s a huge challenge and the change we want to see can only come from a global effort. But every journey must start somewhere.

To speed up progress, WWF has created a Sustainable Finance Regulations and Central Bank Activities (SUSREG) framework and database.

It’s a free interactive online tracking tool that regularly assesses how financial regulators, supervisors and central banks in 45 jurisdictions are integrating climate and broader environmental and social considerations in their policies and practice.

For example

Bank Negara Malaysia, together with the Value-based Intermediation Financing and Investment Impact Assessment Framework (VBIAF) working group, has published 10 guides for financing high-risk sectors including oil & gas, palm oil and construction. The guides include a suggested risk checklist during on-boarding assessments to determine the environmental and social risks of the clients.

The Banque de France (BdF) has decided to exclude any company working on new fossil fuel extraction projects from its portfolios by the end of 2024, after announcing in 2022 that it would exit coal entirely and strengthen its hydrocarbon exclusions.

A guideline on the use of “Deforestation Risk Mitigation Solutions for Financial Institutions” was published by the Sustainable Finance Platform chaired by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). The guide aims to provide financial institutions around the globe with actionable steps and specific services to analyse and mitigate their impact on deforestation.

Shifting finances towards sustainability

“We’re really proud to support WWF’s action on sustainable finance,” says Jérôme, who leads Deloitte’s work with WWF supporting its SUSREG tool.

Deloitte’s regulatory strategy teams in Switzerland, the UK, Australia and the US collaborated with local Deloitte offices in over 40 countries, bringing together each team’s regional expertise to provide an overview of the local environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies in the financial sector. This information is fed into the WWF’s tracker which is available online, for use by all interested stakeholders.

“Regulation is one of the most important tools that we have to address climate change. It’s a long-term project, and we can’t change the world overnight,” explains Linda Hedqvist, senior manager, EMEA centre for regulatory strategy, Deloitte UK.

Jérôme adds: “But we are working to speed up progress and it’s been great to hear feedback from central bankers and financial supervisors in several countries telling us they’ll use it to influence their own policymaking agenda.”

WWF asked Deloitte to deliver support with the assessment of the 45 jurisdictions in the SUSREG framework and to broaden its scope from banking to the insurance sector.

WWF and Deloitte’s teams assessed countries against criteria such as whether banks or insurance companies had to disclose their climate risks.

The project was initiated by WWF Greening Financial Regulation Initiative (GFRI) in 2021 with a first global annual report published.

With the landscape continuing to change rapidly, the hard work continues. The Deloitte team is currently supporting the 2023 annual report SUSREG assessment.

This truly is a global project and a rewarding experience. Through it we’ve collaborated with sustainability experts from our firm all over the world.

Linda Hedqvist
Senior Manager, EMEA Centre for Regulatory Strategy, Deloitte UK

We want to support banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to better understand how to move towards a more sustainable future.

Jérôme Crugnola-Humbert
Director, Sustainability Services, Deloitte Switzerland

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