Sustainability Forum: The Rise of Sustainable Finance

Friday, November 1, 2019, 13:00 – 17:00
Soros Auditorium

The aim of the Sustainability Forum is to provide an up-to-date information on the recent developments and trends within the sustainable finance field. Without doubt, sustainable finance is faced with various challenges such as development of clear strategies and responsible investment policies. The Sustainability Forum is organized to foster discussions in the business community and to provide platform for experience sharing.

Over the past several decades, companies and investors have increasingly been cognizant of the potential negative externalities of their activities and investments and have sought to minimize those. More recently, many organizations have begun monitoring the ESG (environment, social and governance) implications of their operations.  In the past several years, a sub-set of those companies and investors have sought to have a proactive impact with their activities and investments by seeking ways to address environmental, social and economic challenges more effectively and efficiently.

As a growing number of private sector players are engaging in sustainable investments, new models and financing approaches are emerging. Innovative approaches to financing economic, social and environmental challenges are emerging such as pay for success models and outcome funds.

At the same time, the international community is working towards achieving a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such a holistic agenda requires new approaches to addressing economic, social and environmental challenges as well as financing. A strong emphasis will be needed on using public resources more strategically and on catalysing private resources targeted towards achieving the sustainable development goals. New models of public and private partnership are needed which can fund, deliver and scale innovative solutions to these challenges.

Discussion questions:

  • How are trends in sustainable finance evolving globally, in Europe and in Latvia?
  • What is needed to encourage more investors to progress from risk migration to seeing positive social and environmental impact as well?
  • What role can policy play in facilitating the development of the market?


12:30   Registration

13:00   Welcome & Opening

Anders Paalzow, Rector, SSE Riga

Alda Ozola, Deputy State Secretary, Latvia

13:30   Keynote: The rise of Sustainable Finance

Christopher Flensborg, Head of Climate & Sustainable Finance, SEB, Sweden

14:00   Panel/Keynotes: The international perspective

Karen Wilson, Office of the Secretary-General, OECD

Others – TBC

15:00   Panel:  The Baltic experience

Evija Tambaka, CBL Asset Management

Irina Kuzmina, Swedbank & co-chair of the Sustainable Finance Working Group, Finance Latvia

Jaan App, Estonian Social Enterprise Network

16:00   Student Oxford Style Debate

The Business Roundtable recently released a statement that redefines the purpose of the corporation, moving away from shareholder primacy to include a commitment to all stakeholders.

Students will debate each side (shareholder primacy vs commitment to all stakeholders)

16:30   Closing session/wrap up

Anders Paalzow, Rector, SSE Riga

Audience poll (shareholder primacy vs commitment to all stakeholders)

17:00   Adjourn

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SSE Riga, Strēlnieku iela 4a

The 25th Anniversary Event

Since 1994, SSE Riga collaborates with academics, companies and communities who care about sustainable development in the Baltic countries. This is another great opportunity to exchange best practices and build a network of experts.