France Roadmap Aims to Strengthen French Leadership in Responsible Investment

26 November 2018

Fiduciary duty in the 21st Century: Launch of the France Roadmap
26 November 2018

The France Roadmap – the latest in a series of market analyses from the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century programme – was launched today at UNEP FI’s 2018 Global Roundtable in Paris, France.

The roadmap, which sets out recommendations for the French market to build upon its leadership position and achieve further progress in mainstreaming responsible investment, was presented to Brune Poirson, Secretary of State, Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. Following the presentation, Martin Skancke, Chair of PRI, lead a moderated discussion on the roadmap’s recommendations with Brune Poirson and Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova and Chair of Finance for Tomorrow.

Acknowledging recent achievements, such as the final adoption of the Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (PACTE), the roadmap recommends that the French market would benefit from a second wind in its approach to responsible investment. The Roadmap aims to strengthen French leadership in the transition towards a more sustainable finance system, one that aligns with the Paris Agreement and contributes to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Despite progress, many obstacles remain. In particular, regulatory developments in France and Europe are requiring the financial sector to clarify their fiduciary duty to incorporate ESG issues into investment strategies and investment tools, and to consider how investors assess the sustainability impact of their investment activities.

To overcome these obstacles, the roadmap details recommendations for institutional investors and policy makers in four categories: clarifying and extending investors’ fiduciary responsibility, encouraging analysis and measurement of the impacts of investment activities, creating an environment in which responsible investment is able to flourish, and strengthening collaboration between public and private actors.

The publication is the culmination of extensive consultation with major French institutional investors, regulators and industry associations and is the result of a partnership among the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and The Generation Foundation, in collaboration with Finance for Tomorrow.

“This project, driven by France’s leadership in sustainable finance and recent momentum in responsible investment, builds knowledge and shares experience among policy makers and investors,” said Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI. “It provides guidance on how to fully integrate ESG factors into investment practice and align investment with the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, including encouraging analysis and measurement of the impacts of investment activities.

“The French market has long demonstrated its leadership in sustainable finance, notably through the implementation of Article 173 of the Law on the Energy Transition for Green Growth. However, further progress is needed to finance international sustainability targets, such as those set by the Paris Agreement,” said PRI Board Chair Martin Skancke, who led a discussion of the Roadmap at the launch. “We hope that the recommendations in the Roadmap will facilitate more widespread integration of responsible investment practices in France.”

“Finance for Tomorrow supports the recommendations of the French Roadmap. It should give a new impulse to boost the development of responsible investment,” said Philippe Zaouati, Chair of Finance for Tomorrow. “It sets a very ambitious agenda for Finance for Tomorrow and the professional associations in the upcoming years.”

 

Download the full roadmap in French here.

Download the executive summary in English here.

Learn more about Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century here.