Eyes on a sustainable future: European funding institutions exchange views

Eyes on a sustainable future: European funding institutions exchange views

The future seen through a child’s eyes, inviting adults to look at the world as she does. We need new visions if we are to make the future more sustainable.

This was the opening message of Eyes on a Sustainable Future, organised by CDP in cooperation with Borsa Italiana at Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan. The event brought together leading figures from Europe's major national promotional institutions: Caisse des Dépôts (CDC), Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW), as well as CDP and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The meeting, which took place in parallel with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, was an opportunity to present the results of the BVA Doxa survey on European citizens' perceptions of ESG issues and sought to answer some key questions: what role does finance play in facilitating the ESG transition? What do the national promotional institutes do? What has been the experience so far?

The opening speeches by CDP Chairman Giovanni Gorno Tempini and Borsa Italiana Chair Claudia Parzani were followed by a discussion between CDP CEO Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti, CDC CEO Eric Lombard, ICO CEO José Carlos García de Quevedo and KFW Secretary General Lutz-Christian Funke. The final remarks were made by Francesco Billari, Rector of Milan’s Bocconi University.

The debate explored the role of the national promotional institutes in fostering the sustainable transition. CDP and its European counterparts, together with the EIB, have total assets of more than €2,700 billion and play a crucial role in financing investments for EU growth. Last year they allocated €100 billion to sustainable projects and are currently working to create a common European network to strengthen ESG investments in a rapidly changing environment that has an ongoing need for funding and new solutions.

The BVA Doxa survey

A focus on sustainability is a key growth factor in Europe, where, according to data from the BVA Doxa survey conducted in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Poland, most citizens are now aware of ESG issues and consider them to be a priority.

A clear understanding of the various environmental, social and governance areas is still lacking, but sustainability is now seen as a necessity, including from an economic perspective: a clear majority of Europeans are willing to accept a medium-to long-term timeframe for sustainable investment returns (more than 70% of respondents) and a reduction in the cost of lending to enterprises with social or environmental goals. Moreover, 51% of the respondents believed that sustainability will have a positive impact on employment in the near future.

Climate change and related issues remain the biggest concerns and citizens’ top priorities for action (over 30%). At the same time, however, the importance of “social” questions is beginning to emerge, in particular with regards to infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and housing.

The majority of citizens who were interviewed (57%) think that sustainability challenges can only be addressed by a pact between governments and citizens. And in this context the national promotional institutes have a key role in accelerating the growth and sustainable development of the various European countries.

A zero-impact event

Eyes on a Sustainable Future was a zero-impact event. The CO2 emissions produced were offset through measures to plant and protect 48,826 square metres of forest in the Ticino Park.

Research results
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