“Who are the key players?”

Sustainable Finance Landscape Map

The Sustainable Finance Landscape Map is a non-exclusive list of actors across industries who are shaping sustainable finance. Research bodies, intergovernmental institutions, asset management firms and credit agencies are few of many who are changing finance and pushing the sector to incorporate ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria. Our map encompasses 200 entries from countries across Europe such as the Netherlands, Greece and Hungary.

The fragmented nature of the sustainable finance ecosystem in Europe makes it difficult to navigate how the sector is evolving. Our main objective in designing this map therefore was to help readers identify the main players. Inspired by the Geneva Ecosystem Map, we have chosen to categorize entries according to their respective industry in order to highlight the variety of actors present, but also to demonstrate the contrasting perspectives that exist in sustainable finance. We focused on financial actors (banks, asset managers, funds) and non-financial actors, such as rating agencies, fintech and impact funds.  For the latter, resources which proved to be especially helpful in our research include the Impact Database and an extensive list of European FinTech companies gathered by the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability.

We have subsequently divided our entries into two main categories: those who are FOCUSED IN and those who are ACTIVE IN sustainable finance. The former contains entities for whom contributing to a greener future is a core part of their activities; such as BlueOrchard, a global investment manager who has provided financial services to 200m people in emerging markets and Planet A Venture, a Hamburg (Germany) based VC which provides funding exclusively to start-us which positively impact the planet. On the other hand, ACTIVE IN contains companies such as Bloomberg and ING who have more traditional positions but are making important steps in sustainability. This category also includes major fossil fuel companies without which progress in climate change and emission reductions cannot be achieved and intergovernmental institutions responsible for encouraging higher compliance with ESG standards.

The main limitation in our research is the absence of a clearly defined measurement system to rank actors on their ESG-related effectiveness. Indeed, there is no consensus on an international framework to measure the environmental and social impact of companies’ activities. This has resulted in us relying on broad categories: FOCUSED IN and ACTIVE IN. We hope nevertheless that with the evolving taxonomy of green assets, the better reporting of externalities and improved data collections, such distinctions will be made possible in the near future. We believe that rating agencies and intergovernmental institutions are the backbone of the emergence of an international framework in the years to come, upon which banks and companies will be able to evaluate the sustainability of their activities. For now, our map provides readers with an overview of the sustainable finance ecosystem in Europe, and can act as a comprehensive guide for those seeking to navigate its complexity. 

*To see the full list of the European actors in our map, please visit: https://docs.google.com/document 

(ESCP students only) 

Authors: Elisabetta Sakiotis, Charlotte Mimran and Matteo Ferroni


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