Greening the Financial Sector

pp 191-206

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


UNEP Perspectives

  • Paul Clements-HuntAffiliated withUNEP Finance Initiative


This chapter describes how, since the mid-1980s, a slow-burning, push-and-pull dynamic between public policy and public sentiment regarding environment and sustainability is succeeding in changing the basis upon which our capital markets and financial institutions view the financial materiality of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. It shows that the manner in which the financial services sector and the broader investment chain integrate natural and social value at risk into their risk considerations is changing, albeit slowly, across the mainstream. In time, these changes mean that the risks and market opportunities associated with, amongst others, climate change, resource depletion, the destruction of ecosystems, social challenges and human rights issues, may be more fully integrated into financial, investment and capital market considerations.