Official launch of FSinsight
February 6, 2012
“Today we launch FSinsight — a shop-window full of sustainable ideas for enterprises like yours,” Maxime Verhagen said. “Your sector must invest in ESG — even if the market does not immediately show results. I’m counting on you!”
Highlights of the FSinsight launch event included presentations from the two keynote speakers.British historian and environmentalist Mark Lynas, author of the best-selling books ‘6 Degrees’ and the recent ‘The God Species’ discussed his controversial stance: He believes that humans can save the planet without any diminishment of lifestyle — but only if there is large-scale financial investment in nuclear power and bio-engineering.“It’s not for environmentalists to save the planet — it’s financials who should save it,” he said, referring to the value FSinsight has to the financial community.
Lloyd Kurtz, an internationally-recognized expert on SRI, a lecturer at Haas Business School’s Center for Responsible Business (UC Berkeley) and the Chief Investment Officer at Nelson Capital Management (Wells Fargo) talked about the three biggest challenges to sustainable finance. These are Governance and regulatory laxity, global climate change, and overconfidence/inertia on the part of investment professionals and ‘sustainability’ academics, he said.Of the three issues, “overconfidence is probably the biggest challenge,” he said, pointing to research that ‘the best and the brightest’ tend to overestimate their own decision-making ability.A global information portal such as FSinsight is necessary to bring cross-disciplinary solutions for these challenges to light, he said.
Dutch initiative, global importance
One of the key aspects of FSinsight, beyond the wealth of knowledge and ideas offered, is its showcasing of Dutch research and financial expertise and innovation. Piet Eichholtz elaborated. “We think the Netherlands can really play a big part in this global move to sustainable finance,” he said, “and FSinsight was initiated to be very much a Dutch initiative…with a global reach.”One important part of the portal is to re-define the meaning of ‘sustainable’.
“’Sustainability’ has been hijacked by the green movement – they think business is evil,” he said.“We think sustainability is a financial proposition — it’s a good idea and it should be financed. At FSinsight we want to help business to get sustainable, and make money,” he said.
FSinsight: Unique sustainability portal
FSinsight is a unique global knowledge platform devoted to the latest ideas and practices around issues of socially responsible and sustainable finance. More than a database of research knowledge, the white papers and video interviews on FSinsight have a distinct relevance and accessibility for forward-thinking practitioners.
Ground-breaking ideas are presented across four themes: Sustainable and Responsible Investment; Green Buildings Finance; Sustainable Energy Finance; and Inclusive Finance.
Dutch business partners with global scholars
The initiative for FSinsight began with the Holland Financial Centre (HFC), a public-private joint venture focused on developing new and innovative means to keep the Netherlands’ financial industry strong and competitive. “Banks, insurance companies, pension funds…they all believe that this kind of initiative can add value, and contribute to a better future and world,” says Sjoerd van Keulen, Chairman HFC.
Opening by Sjoerd van Keulen
HFC is partnered with Tilburg University, Maastricht University and Duisenberg school of finance to bring the power of Dutch research to the table. Meanwhile international partners University of California at Berkeley, National University of Singapore, and the Swedish strategic management foundation Mistra, offer the opportunity to mine and share truly global data and research.
Website Mark Lynas