In the wake of COP26 in Glasgow in November, Geneva has announced its aspirations to become a global platform for sustainable finance. 

Sustainable finance is a sector of finance that focuses on taking into account ESG criteria, i.e. environmental, social and governance criteria (the three main factors for assessing the sustainability of an investment). More broadly, sustainable finance includes socially responsible investment, solidarity finance, green finance and more generally responsible investment. And sustainable finance is a new opportunity for Geneva, the second most populous city in Switzerland after Zurich. The city is already recognised as an important financial centre with the international microcosm gathered around the United Nations. The great challenge of the next few years could be to get these two environments to work together. 

Establishing a leadership position in environmentally friendly investments 

Switzerland has proposed Geneva as a platform for sustainable development. The Federal Council has proposed Geneva as the location for one of the main seats of the International Sustainability Standards Board. This body has the task of defining global standards on the sustainable economy and is therefore aimed at companies. 

Geneva’s strengths? 

The city is traditionally a host to international organisations and NGOs, and Switzerland is a country committed to the mission of a greener and more responsible world: the country aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and to reach 0% by 2050. The decision on the location of the headquarters will therefore be taken before the end of the year.

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