Sustainable finance | European Commission

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Overview

Sustainable finance‘ generally refers to the process of taking due account of environmental and social considerations when making investment decisions, leading to increased investment in longer-term and sustainable activities.

More specifically, environmental considerations refer to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the environment more broadly and the related risks (e.g. natural disasters). Social considerations may refer to issues of inequality, inclusiveness, labour relations, investment in human capital and communities.

The governance of public and private institutions, including management structures, employee relations and executive remuneration, plays a fundamental role in ensuring the inclusion of social and environmental considerations in the decision-making process.

All three components – environmental, social and governance (ESG) – are integral parts of sustainable economic development and finance.

In the EU’s policy context sustainable finance is understood as finance to support economic growth while reducing pressures on the environment and taking into account

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