In the first virtual Cloud Talk broadcast, myclimate discussed the potential of sustainable financial investment with Edith Aldewereld (see info box). As a seasoned financial expert, she explained how to invest responsibly and sustainably in order to make a positive impact for oneself, for society and for the environment. Profitability, long-term investor perspective, risk management and sustainability are by no means mutually exclusive. According to Aldewereld, sustainable investments can achieve above-average performance, even in times of crisis.
The role of sustainable financial investment today
During the interview, Aldewereld spoke, among other things, about the criteria according to which investors can invest their assets sustainably. “The term ‘purpose’ is a far-reaching and complex concept,” the expert stressed. Not only environmental aspects play a role, but also social aspects. “The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the increasingly widespread ESG ratings (environment, social, governance) can serve as important tools in the search for sustainable investment criteria,” said Aldewereld. ESG ratings are a proven way to evaluate a company's sustainability performance or corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. NGOs such as myclimate can also play an important role in the field of sustainable finance, for instance in the assessment of climate-friendly and emission-reducing companies, said Aldewereld. In addition, the financial expert repeatedly stressed the enormous potential of sustainable investment opportunities. She spoke about the role of the Swiss financial centre in the area of sustainable finance and the impact that sustainable investments can have, while also detailing their limitations.
“Women in Sustainable Finance”
Finally, Aldewereld talked about the role of women in the financial sector and explained why she co-founded the network “Women in Sustainable Finance” (WISF). The network aims to strengthen the role of women in the financial sector and especially in the area of sustainable finance. Aldewereld emphasised that the female gender is still under-represented in the financial sector, despite the fact that women have a good nose for sustainable investment and more often pursue long-term investment strategies.
Edith Aldewereld is passionately committed to the goal of “Moving Money to Meaning”. This project aims to help the financial industry and clients realise that it is not only possible to generate wealth, but at the same time a positive impact on society. In addition, Edith Aldewereld is the founder of the network “Women in Sustainable Finance” (WISF), which is committed to equal rights in the financial sector and aims to sustainably transform the financial system. The WISF meanwhile has more than 600 members and promotes exchange and cooperation through network events, courses and coaching on sustainability and finance. The financial expert is able to look back on 20 years of experience in private banking asset management and wealth management. After working at banks such as ING Bank, ABN AMRO and Union Bancaire Privée, Edith Aldewereld became a partner at Sonnenberg Wealth Management AG in 2015, where she built up a sustainability-oriented investment portfolio.