Ethical, Green, Sustainable Development

Climate change and the erosion of the world’s natural resources and balances have become the defining issues of the 21st century. The younger generation clamors for more multilateral development, so it is essential that the private sector respond with ethical and sustainable investment and participation. This is the way that responsible governments and
investors can co-operate to meet the climate crisis.

In order to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 C, it is estimated that $6 trillion per annum globally needs to be redirected towards green, sustainable and ethical investment in order to reshape cities, energy systems, infrastructure and land use around the world.

Of this figure, around two thirds should be invested in developing countries. The countries have the largest and fastest-growing populations, and the greatest need. This estimated figure is several times more than current investment rates, which must increase considerably in the near future.

Most importantly, it is the Millennial generation and our children who rally for more rapid action from governments, multilateral institutions and corporations. “Burying of heads in the sand” or “business as usual” are ways of the past. We are part of a global race to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. So far, this effort has been a one-way street in the private sector.

The “common good’ in Green, Sustainable and Ethical Finance is a relatively small market. Nevertheless, it is expanding rapidly and is an important element of ethical and sustainable development. This could result in a positive growth opportunity for the global financial community, at the same time taking into account the betterment of society or the community.

Sustainable Fashion

Is a movement and process of fostering change in the fashion industry. Greater ecological integrity and social justice are our goals. With this in mind we design products and reconfigure the industry — not just the products or type of textiles used, but the systems of design and production.

We engage with interdependent social, cultural, ecological and financial systems. It means we consider fashion from the perspective of many stakeholders – users and producers, all living species, contemporary and future dwellers on earth. Sustainable fashion therefore belongs to, and is the responsibility of citizens, the public sector, and the private sector.

Redesigning a system in the fashion industry, takes into account all facets of the process, instead of just making isolated changes and modifications. For example, replacing a toxic fiber with a less environmentally harmful one is beneficial, but only to the extent that the volume of production is controlled. Increasing the production without being mindful of other sustainability and ethical concerns, could cancel out the benefits of the use of a superior and safer raw material.

Sustainable Real Estate

On 12th December 2015 history was made in Paris when 195 countries agreed to work together to substantially curb global warming by limiting it to a maximum of to 2°C, possibly 1.5°C, and phase out fossil fuels by the end of the 21st century. More than ever before, governments all over the world are now challenged to find cost-effective ways to curb pollution, with every sector and every economy coming under close scrutiny. The construction industry has one of the highest carbon footprints – it currently contributes to 30% of global annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumes around 40% of the world’s energy. Following through on the commitments made in Paris means avoiding 77% in total CO2 emissions in the construction by 2050 compared to today’s levels.

We realize that these goals are critical and will require substantial monetary investment. To support real estate investors with this work, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and its global partners (IGCC, IIGCC, Ceres INCR, PRI and the RICS) have created a plan of action to address climate issues for real estate stakeholders, regardless of size or existing level of sophistication of ESG. It includes publications of the last five years, relevant to real estate stakeholders in the investment process. The result is a user-friendly guide that encourages real estate stakeholders to act responsibly, ethically and sustainably.
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