Collaboration, communication and upskilling at heart of new Jersey Finance sustainable finance strategy
Collaboration, communication and upskilling lie at the heart of a new sustainable finance vision and strategy launched by Jersey Finance, that will position the island as a leading international finance centre (IFC) for sustainable finance.
Unveiled at a virtual event, the long-term strategic plan forms part of a new report, ‘Jersey for Good: a Sustainable Future’, which makes the case for Jersey’s finance industry to support the transition to a more sustainable future and sets out a vision and a number of objectives for where Jersey intends to be by 2030. The report also includes an initial two-year ‘pathway’ to deliver on those objectives.
The report, strategy and pathway are the result of a piece of work commissioned by Jersey Finance and undertaken over the past year by Andrew Mitchell, CEO, and his team at Equilibrium Futures, a consultancy now based in Jersey. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and through Equilibrium Futures advises governments, companies and the financial sector on sustainable finance and opportunities linked to climate change and the environment.
Highlighting that ESG assets are likely to increase exponentially over the next 20 years to surpass USD100 trillion by 2028 (Deutsche Bank), the report makes a clear business case for action. It suggests that, while Jersey has done well to build its reputation on outstanding governance, expertise and the ability to transact efficiently, emerging regulation and reporting on sustainability, along with increasing evidence of the profitability of ESG funds, are combining to deliver risks and opportunities to which Jersey must react.
Setting out a vision for Jersey - that ‘by 2030, Jersey will be recognised by its clients, key stakeholders and other partners as the leading sustainable international finance centre in the markets it serves’ – the report makes a number of key high level recommendations including:
• Build strong stakeholder partnerships: so that each sector within Jersey’s finance industry has the tools to integrate sustainability within a joined-up policy framework
• Green finance on a green island: greater collaboration between the finance industry, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), the Government of Jersey and the people of Jersey on sustainability issues
• Improve perception and credibility: measure performance against independent frameworks to reinforce Jersey’s reputation as a good global actor
• Increase capacity: upskill across the board to prepare for and take advantage of the global trends in ESG and sustainable finance.
To deliver on those recommendations, the report also sets out a two-year ‘Pathway to Success’ that suggests a number of short-term and longer-term actions, including establishing a steering group to bring together key stakeholders, greater participation in external bodies and forums, enhancing access to specific training, encouraging product innovation, and creating an enabling regulatory environment.
Joe Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, Jersey Finance, says: “There’s no doubt that sustainable finance has become a strategic priority in recent years and the dramatic events of the last year have placed environmental, social and governance thinking into sharper focus. As a forward-thinking IFC, we need to respond to the speed of change and act now so that we can position ourselves as an integral part of the journey ahead.
“Jersey has a responsibility to leverage its expertise and capital to support the transition to an environmentally and socially sustainable global economy. This report sets out an ambitious vision that should inspire us and, with a detailed plan to guide us too, I’m certain we can capitalise on Jersey’s strengths as we work together to support the growth of sustainable finance and its contribution to environmental and social change.”
Mitchell adds: “With its new sustainable finance vision and strategy, Jersey Finance has the opportunity to stimulate collaboration between government and the finance industry to create an infrastructure with expertise and strong regulation in the assessment, measurement, verification and promotion of ESG and impact investing. This will help Jersey establish its position as a leading jurisdiction, where sustainably-motivated lending and investment are the norm.”