The investment industry has tremendous opportunities to contribute to a sustainable society and to meet the immense challenges ahead. In order to exploit the full potential of this business and to create an added value for society and environment, however, we have to reconsider the fundamentals and create a new vision of investing in the “age of sustainable development” that goes beyond a “triple bottom line” or “socially responsible” approach:
- Changing the way of thinking: We have to turn sustainability and responsibility from obstacles into opportunities and chart a path towards a responsible and sustainable way of doing business. Investing and financing social goods, putting capital behind innovative solutions to elements of the financial crisis will extend and not restrict the possibilities of the financial industry.
- Reconsidering the old models: Sustainability and responsibility have to move from the margins to the centre of business strategies and economic models. They have to build the core of every entrepreneurial activity and become part of a company’s “DNA”. Investment and Finance can and will deliver innovative approaches to finance social good.
- Developing new forms of cooperation: We have to go beyond old distinctions between business and society or sustainability and profit. Different groups need to be brought together and the financial industry can act as transformer and enabler of new alliances between the private and the public sector, social entrepreneurs and the investment industry.
Together, this is nothing less than a change of paradigm and the next evolutionary step in the investment industry, which has effects on the theoretical, strategic and practical level of investments. If we want to address climate change, malnutrition and underdevelopment effectively, it is indispensable to take this step. We must turn global challenges into opportunities and create an investment business, which has internalized sustainability and responsibility as their core values. This is our vision and we see it as the most effective way to meet the challenges we are currently facing.