New Zealand Unveils Roadmap for Sustainable Financial System

Among the 11 key recommendations to help facilitate change, New Zealand’s roadmap involves the introduction of a new stewardship code for financial institutions.

New Zealand’s Sustainable Finance Forum (SFF) last week launched its final report, presenting a roadmap for building a sustainable financial system by 2030.

The SFF brings together key players in the New Zealand financial system comprising banks, insurance companies, corporates, civil society and academia to help the country shift to a more sustainable financial system.

The report expresses a vision to create a financial system that is “more resilient, inclusive, robust, and agile” by incorporating environmental, social and economic concerns in financial decisions.

The roadmap involves three key themes – changing mindsets, transforming the financial system, and financing the transformation, and carves out 11 key recommendations to help facilitate change.

  • Changing mindsets: the report recommends that financial system actors consider and account for ESG risks and opportunities as well as real-world impacts; educating and training management in sustainable finance; and improving governance and accountability through introduction of a stewardship code for financial institutions.
  • Transforming the financial system: the report sets out recommendations to improve the availability and quality of data, reporting and disclosures, and calls for the establishment of a Centre for Sustainable Finance to facilitate better coordination and promote inclusivity.
  • Financing the transformation: the report issues recommendations for building resiliency through prudent regulation over environmental risks, and developing standards and pathways that encourage investments which will result in positive environmental, social and economic outcomes.

As part of the next steps, the Aotearoa Circle – a partnership of public and private sector leaders – will handle the remit of sustainable finance, functioning as an “Interim Sustainable Finance Body” for the next 12 months until the new Centre for Sustainable Finance is formed.

“Of the stakeholders we surveyed, 95% believe the current financial system is neither sustainable nor inclusive,” said Matt Whineray, Co-Chair of the SFF and CEO of NZ Super Fund. “The need to seek greater balance between financial gain today and a more inclusive future for all, where future generations have access to the resources required to meet their needs has never been greater.”

“This report, a Roadmap for Action, sets out to create a more sustainable financial system in Aotearoa New Zealand, one supporting those requirements, by 2030.”

The full report is available here.

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