Green infrastructure and the digital evolution of ESG investment

Using blockchain to boost green investment: How to create trust, transparency and liquidity for green infrastructure opportunities.

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Our London branch held the inaugural event in their newly launched Insight Series last month, with the event being themed around green infrastructure and the digital evolution of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment. A world of insights was indeed shared by our speakers across the keynote and the two panel sessions. We have pulled together a summary of the content from the afternoon, highlighting the importance of green investments in the future of our planet, and the associated technologies being employed to most effectively facilitate these investments.

Green investments are rapidly gaining in popularity with investor mandates and demand changing significantly in recent years to support this asset class.

We have seen this first in the debt markets with a dramatic rise in the demand for green bonds. The market is expected to grow about 40% this year.

This is not because investors are prepared to “take a haircut to save the world”, in the words of Sean Kidney, chief executive of the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Instead, investors are eyeing green bonds because they believe they can create value and deliver strong returns by increasing their exposure to renewable and clean energy projects, sustainable water management initiatives, green buildings and future low carbon mobility solutions.

“This is a global phenomenon…we have green shoots everywhere”, Mr Kidney said in his keynote address at National Australia Bank’s (NAB’s) inaugural ‘Insight Series’ seminar in London on Thursday, 6 September 2018.

But are these investors across the spectrum actually changing and measuring the impact of their investment? Many investors are struggling to reconcile their desire to invest in sustainable business opportunities given their stringent investment criteria and reporting needs. New fintech technologies such as digital assets, built using blockchain, offer a solution by helping both investors and green infrastructure providers to meet the environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements, and mobilise capital at the scale needed to finance this transition to a green, low carbon economy.

For more information, please see the ‘A world of Insights: A focus on green infrastructure and the digital evolution of ESG investment – September 2018’ executive event summary.