Finnish ESG initiative wins international competition for climate change mitigation ideas

The Finnish financial sector’s proposal to promote corporate social responsibility with an EU-wide ESG data register has received international acclaim. OP Financial Group and its cooperative partners won  consultancy company South Pole’s competition for best climate change mitigation idea in the financial sector. OP entered the competition with a cooperatively drafted initiative which aims at improving the comparability of investment target sustainability.

Identifying and comparing the sustainability of investment targets can be difficult, which slows down the progress of sustainable investing. The winning innovation proposes that collecting and distributing commensurable ESG (environmental, social, governance) data from companies could make sustainable investing easier.

According to the initiative, the EU should establish an ESG data register that would collect and distribute data on how well companies take ESG factors into account, and how their operations affect the environment and the society.

“The EU should take a leading role in standardising companies’ ESG reporting. Comparable data could be collected directly from the companies and made available to the financial sector and the academic world, for example”, says Elina Kamppi, head of sustainability at Finance Finland (FFI).

The Finnish ESG initiative was started in October 2019 by OP Financial Group, Aktia Bank, Hanken School of Economics, and the Aalto University. The Finnish financial sector has since continued the work in FFI’s Responsibility Committee.