Sustainability or ethical? Territories and frontiers of the new finance. Ethical finance has old roots. In 1928, a year before the great Wall Street crash, the first ethical fund in history – the Pioneer Fund – was born in the USA. In 1999, over 150 ethical funds were active in the USA and their return on the stock market exceeded that of the S&P500. Despite this long history and the pressure on law makers to legislate on the matter, ethical finance has not yet found a reference regulatory framework, unlike sustainable finance whose definition is today in Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This article aims to clarify the differences between sustainable finance and ethical finance, investigating how they interact with the real economy and therefore with the territories and communities: the first can be defined as a product innovation, while the second can be read as a process innovation, a “complete proposal on how financial intermediation should operate to generate social justice and the common good”. While we can only rejoice in the exponential growth of sustainable finance in Europe and in the world, it is also necessary to be increasingly aware of the fact that this growth occurs within a financial system where, most of the time, there is no apparent coherence with the proclaimed principles of sustainable development. On the contrary, ethical finance, through a thriving and competitive network of players, promotes products that meet strict social and environmental criteria as part of an overall system reform project. Today this has proved to be a winning approach in Europe, in terms of both economic and shared value.

SOSTENIBILE O ETICA? TERRITORI E FRONTIERE DELLA NUOVA FINANZA

Alberto Corbino
2022

Abstract

Sustainability or ethical? Territories and frontiers of the new finance. Ethical finance has old roots. In 1928, a year before the great Wall Street crash, the first ethical fund in history – the Pioneer Fund – was born in the USA. In 1999, over 150 ethical funds were active in the USA and their return on the stock market exceeded that of the S&P500. Despite this long history and the pressure on law makers to legislate on the matter, ethical finance has not yet found a reference regulatory framework, unlike sustainable finance whose definition is today in Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This article aims to clarify the differences between sustainable finance and ethical finance, investigating how they interact with the real economy and therefore with the territories and communities: the first can be defined as a product innovation, while the second can be read as a process innovation, a “complete proposal on how financial intermediation should operate to generate social justice and the common good”. While we can only rejoice in the exponential growth of sustainable finance in Europe and in the world, it is also necessary to be increasingly aware of the fact that this growth occurs within a financial system where, most of the time, there is no apparent coherence with the proclaimed principles of sustainable development. On the contrary, ethical finance, through a thriving and competitive network of players, promotes products that meet strict social and environmental criteria as part of an overall system reform project. Today this has proved to be a winning approach in Europe, in terms of both economic and shared value.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/900049
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