Making Sense of Sustainable Finance and ESG
Venue: Dalgas Have 15, 2000 Frederiksberg, room DH.Ø.0.89
Registration here, deadline 18 November at 10:00
Making Sense of Sustainable Finance and ESG – Views from Inside and Outside the Discipline of Corporate Finance
Presenters: Ken L. Bechmann, Dep. of Finance & Steen Vallentin, Dep. of Management, Society and Communication
Recent years have seen unprecedented attention regarding sustainable finance and ESG (environment, social, governance) in public debates and in professional and scholarly realms. The financial sector is urged from many sides to contribute to sustainable development through green investments and use of ESG criteria. This is reflected both in EU regulation, with the coming of the European Green Deal, including the EU Taxonomy and the SFDR (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation), and in debates about shareholder value and shareholder primacy versus stakeholder value and stakeholder governance.
However, the calls for more sustainability in finance are often made by people with limited knowledge about the theoretical and technical nitty-gritty of investment. Certainly, the meaning attributed to sustainable finance and ESG will often differ between corporate finance insiders (professionals, scholars) and outsiders, and it is an ongoing challenge to bridge resulting gaps and enable a meaningful debate across disciplinary divides reflecting different theoretical commitments and underlying assumptions.
In this seminar, we take up this challenge as we provide a forum for discussing how developments in sustainable finance and ESG can be approached from inside the discipline of corporate finance and from the outside. Rather than aiming to provide any final answers, the purpose of this seminar is to more tentatively present different approaches to increased mutual/joint/common understanding of the developments and some possible bridging themes. What kinds of questions regarding ESG and sustainability can outsiders pose to corporate finance insiders, and what kinds of answers can insiders be expected to provide?
Professor Ken L. Bechmann from the Department of Finance will give a corporate finance take on sustainable finance and ESG, while Associate Professor Steen Vallentin from the Department of Management, Society and Communication will present a view based on modern social theory, including critical reflections on shareholder primacy and stakeholder governance.