Sustainability, and what the rewards of sustainability might be: ABN AMRO’s new campaign invites people to think about the possibilities. It presents sustainability not only from the motive to make the world a better place, but also from a business perspective, to offer our customers a financial benefit. The bank hopes that this approach will help balance societal and economic interests.
This dilemma is reflected in the campaign’s central question: "Would you be interested in sustainable investments if the only returns are social returns?"
People are encouraged to think about projects and initiatives that are both sustainable and financially rewarding.
An example of such an initiative is the concept of Social Impact Bonds. These bonds allow parties to invest in tackling a social problem that requires major government funding, for example youth unemployment. The government pays back the investors from the money that it saves, and the investments also generate returns. Sustainable construction is another example where ABN AMRO also considers the economies of sustainability. Sustainable construction creates healthier working environments and helps reduce CO2 emissions. At the same time, sustainable business premises also often retain their value longer and so yield higher returns. As with regular investments, when selecting sustainable investments the bank considers the company’s earning model, future outlook and environmental, social and governance performances.
The appeal of sustainability
The underlying purpose of such projects is to come together with customers to find ways for sustainable projects to yield both sustainable and financial value. Sustainable investment is not by definition purely an act of philanthropy: it yields both social returns and financial returns. Hopefully this will make sustainability even more appealing to investors, businesses and social organisations and local authorities. As the campaign says, sustainability is a beautiful thing. Financial rewards just make it even more attractive.