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PHBS Holds 2019 Conference on Sustainable Finance—Sustainable Investment and Its Future in China

Time:2019-01-10 01:57:05  Hits:[]
Advancing sustainable development across emerging markets is both critical and expensive. As China is emerging as an unequivocal driver of sustainability and green finance, how can the Chinese economy accelerate the rate at which China’s investors align their practices with the goals of green finance and sustainable development? How can the economy better deliver tangible results on its climate, environmental and sustainable policy goals?

In such a context, the 2019 Conference on Sustainable Finance kicked off at Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS) on January 8 with the theme of “Sustainable Investment and Its Future in China.” This the first international conference, based on an event first hosted and assisted by Cary Krosinsky in 2017 and 2018 at Yale. Co-hosted by PHBS and SFI, this year the event brought together hundreds of scholars, policymakers and practitioners worldwide to discuss economic challenges and financial market development in sustainable perspectives.

 PHBS Dean Wen Hai
In opening remarks, Dean Hai maintained that the world’s economy is confronting numerous challenges, and the research of the 2018 Nobel laureates in economics strives to seek solutions in sustainable development. He hoped this event could serve as a well-timed opportunity for scholars, practitioners and policymakers to contribute to China’s financial sector’s development and sustainable investment.

 Shusong Ba, executive director of HSBC Financial Research Institute at Peking University (HFRI)

Shusong Ba emphasized the importance of sustainable finance as it is becoming an area of increased focus, as global sustainable development is high on the governments’ agenda. He also introduced the role of HFRI in advancing frontier research on sustainable finance in China and hopes this event serves as a platform to advance Sino-US academic exchange and explore new opportunities for sustainable finance.

 Co-founder of the Sustainable Finance Institute Cary Krosinsky 

Cary Krosinsky elaborated on the state of sustainable and impact investing. As a senior adviser and entrepreneur focused on corporate and investment sustainability strategy, he remarked on seven types of sustainable strategy, green finance committee priorities, and the law of supply and demand applied to sustainable finance. Krosinsky maintained that strategies are vital to deliver desired outcomes and impact on financial grounds.
Keynote addresses that followed focused on green investment practices, impact Investing, green bonds and sustainable development in banking systems, and ESG, offering attendees different perspectives on understanding sustainable finance in China. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a company or business.
 Lin Xu, chairman of the US-China Green Fund

Lin Xu shared a thorough analysis on green investment practices initiated by the US-China Green Fund. He outlined the characteristics of the funds that they are managing and pointed out the huge potential of sustainable finance and investment in China. Xu suggested that policymakers should put forward favorable terms on establishing a green assets market and trading system.

 Sun Chang , managing director of TPG China

Sun Chang spoke about the impact of investing in China and around the world. He delved into the details of several unique approaches to social impact investing, such as the renaissance learning project and recycling energy investment and micro financing to agriculture, all of which have delivered effective results to social development and sustainable economic growth.

 Industrial Bank CEO Yiping Tao 
Yiping Tao  remarked on sustainable finance in the banking system, especially through Industrial Bank’s efforts in green investment, strategic cooperation with counterparts, and involvement in EU sustainable initiatives. He concluded that investors should change their investment tactics, while policymakers need formulate favorable policies to guide more investment to toward sustainable sectors.
Shusong Ba , executive director of HSBC Financial Research Institute at PKU, shared his views both as a scholar and practitioner on development of the new green bond in China and around the world. He pointed out the difference of the definition of domestic green bonds and green bonds on the international market and the importance of establishing a green bond index. He also spoke about the role of Hong Kong in forging ties between domestic and international investors to facilitate the stable development of the green bond market in China.
In the afternoon session, Cary Krosinsky’s keynote speech focused on the practice of sustainable finance and systems thinking. He provided examples of innovation in sustainable finance and development, and held that systemic issues we are now facing, such as climate change, energy consumption and economic growth, need to be tackled by systematic solutions stemming from systematic thinking.

 Xiaobing Zhang, mayor of the Bayannur Municipal Government
ESG Specialist Paul Milon of BNP Paribas  talks with Tzu-Kuan Chiu, finance professor of Shanghai Jiaotong University

Conference participants also had the chance to probe into actual sustainable development cases.  Xiaobing Zhang presented the City of Bayannur’s pioneering efforts and achievements in this regard. Paul Milon spoke on ESG in Asia, using a sustainable investing game show as a case study through which over 120 staff and 70 clients have been trained across APAC to learn sustainable investment and understand ESG. Tzu-Kuan Chiu shared her insights on ESG investing in China and across the globe, and the difference between Chinese fund managers and their overseas counterparts’ preference to the existing seven ESG investment strategies.

 Sabrina Chen from Brown University
Students at key universities were also acknowledged for their stake in efforts to advance green initiatives. Sabrina Chen briefed on the introduction and practices of Brown’s socially responsible investment fund. She further elaborated her study on redefining corporate gender diversity, and how to create a gender diverse portfolio that closely tracks the S&P500. On the same day, the Sustainable Finance Institute (SFI) also announced the launch of sustainable finance competitions for students from universities around the world including Brown, Yale, and the University of Edinburgh, as well as universities from across China.

The second day of the conference features keynote speeches on a sampling of issues ranging from fields of ESG, Innovation, investing and sustainable finance.Hannah Routh gave her insights towards current situation and future of ESG in Europe and emerging markets. Charles Yonts shared his thoughts on how Asia should respond and rise to challenges of sustainable development from the perspective of fossil fuel usage, gender diversity and income gap. In addition, Yuan Tian elaborated on the concepts of green trust and finance and then probed into Innovation and practice of green trust. From a practitioner's perspective, Karine Hirn remarked on green energy investing and the momentum of sustainable development.

Hannah Routh, Deloitte Partner / British Chamber of Commerce Energy & Environment committee, vice-chair / Hong Kong Green Finance Task Force, co-founder

 Charles Yonts of CLSA speaks about " Sustainable Finance in Asia"
Yuan Tian , AVIC Trust (Aviation Industry Corporation of China), Director of Research and Innovation

Karine Hirn , Founding Partner & Francois Perrin – Portfolio Manager, East Capital (right)

Attendees were invited to dialogues that focus on corporate and investors’ involvement in sustainability as well as green-tech investment, where practitioners and scholars exchanged their experience and views on sustainability along with trends of the ever-changing world.  

Panel: Bringing Corporates and Investors Together Around Sustainability (Led by Interface)

Participants : UB Qiu, Interface, North Asia Sustainability Lead; Carmen Ng, Director of Sustainability, Langham Hospitality Group; Raymond Fang, Director of Sustainability, Asia Pulp & Paper China (APP China)

Panel: GreenTech Investment & Sustainable Development (Led by Tsing Capital)

Participants: Qi Lu, Tsing Capital, Partner; Lin Zuo, Greenland Ventures, Managing Partner; Amanda Zheng, China Impact Ventures, Principal; Cynthia Wang, WWF, Technology and Environment Chief Advisor; Han Qin, BASF Venture Capital, Head of China

Angus Choi, ERM; Aharish Mirando; Yuanchao Xu, China Water Crisis; Ivy Lau-Climate,Bond Initiative

The group photo of the invited speakers and guests
By Annie Jin 
Edited by Priscilla Young

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