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The online edition of RI DigiFest was attended by an impressive number of users

The RI DigiFest organized this month online, by Responsible Investors, was attended by an impressive number of approximately 4,500 users and an average of 200 presences in each session. The first day, after the Keynote by Masja Zandbergen, Robeco’s Head of Sustainability Integration, dedicated to the connections between Esg and pandemic, the heart of the speech focused on climate change.



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About 4,500 registered users including institutional investors, asset managers, NGOs, data providers, and company representatives, and at least 200 attendees in each session. These are the final numbers on attendance at RI DigiFest, the Digital Festival: Summer 2020 organized by Responsible Investors. “For a specific conference on ESG and Sustainability, this is great news about the direction the industry is taking,” said the organizers. “By way of comparison, the RI conference held in London last year was attended by about 1,000 delegates.”

The web has included and multiplied users. The COVID-19 pandemic, the undisputed leader of the news in recent months, has moved the event to a virtual level and the industry has responded.

Read more about the RI DigiFest event and find out the latest financial news in the world with the Born2Invest mobile app.

The discussions on sustainable finance and the future of the Esg are now available in a special section of the site 

As anticipated in recent days by ETicaNews, one of the Supporting Organizations of RI DigiFest, the days were divided into three online “areas”: the Main Stage, i.e., the plenary sessions introduced by the “speaker’s corner”, followed by the “key notes” and plenary sessions open to discussion among participants; the Breakouts Stage, i.e., simultaneous afternoon sessions from 1 to 2 p.m. (Bst) on various topics of sustainability; and the “Fringe” Festival, a series of events in addition to the main RI DigiFest.

The importance of climate and biodiversity among the main topics discussed

The first day, after the Keynote by Masja Zandbergen, Robeco’s Head of Sustainability Integration, dedicated to the connections between Esg and pandemic, the heart of the speech focused on climate transition. 

The French Secretary of State for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson, spoke about the need to “capture the transition”, stressing the importance of biodiversity becoming part of environmental funding efforts. The main session then moved on to the central role of pension funds in the post-covid recovery, stressed by Magnus Billing, CEO of the Alecta pension fund, to talk about climate transition, the inclusion of the problem of racial diversity in Agm, the food and obesity node and mining activities. Among the panelists of the first day were  also NN Investment Partners, UBS, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and FMO Investment Management.

The significance of being an Esg investor was at the center of the plenary on June 16th, which saw the comparison between GPS Central, Clearbridge Investments, AXA, 2 Degrees Initiative Investing and ShareAction. While the keynote of the day was given to Martin Spolc, Head of the Sustainable Finance Unit of the European Commission, who spoke about the new sustainable financial strategy “Financing the European Green Deal in the recovery context”. Spolc said that the current coronavirus crisis “has taught (the Commission) that we should look more at the social aspects of our sustainability strategy, as well as the governance aspects.”

On June 17th, the third day of the Festival, biodiversity returned to the center

Fiona Stewart, Global Lead Insurance and Pensions of the World Bank Group, who outlined five ideas for mobilizing the private sector for financing and defined biodiversity as “the next frontier in responsible investment risk management.”

The plenary was attended by MSCI, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Repsol, Church of England, and UnPri, who discussed the implications of investment on the path towards the Net-zero carbon objective. During the discussion, Adam Matthews, Director of Ethics & Engagement at the Church of England Pensions Board, asked for the willingness of Repsol’s Sustainability Manager, Luis Cabra, to “work with ClimateAction100+ investors to set a standard for the net-zero Oil & Gas industry.”

Discussions about an harmonization of green financial taxonomies between China and Europe

June 18th was the turn of a wish: the birth of a “task force” between China and Europe on the harmonization of green financial taxonomies. Ma Jun chairman of the China Green Finance Committee was speaking about the project.

The final keynote on June 19th was given to Hiroshi Komori, Senior Director, Stewardship and Esg of the Japanese Gpif, who spoke about the implementation of the stewardship in the strategy of the largest pension fund in the world.


(Featured image by Dieterich01 via Pixabay)

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Desmond O’Flynn believes in minimalism and the power of beer. As a young reporter for some of the largest national publications, he has lived in the world of finance and investing for nearly three decades. He has since included world politics and the global economy in his portfolio. He also writes about entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as innovation in fintech, gambling, and cannabis industries.