Kathy-Thuy Nguyen, country director of Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) in Vietnam. Photo: IIX
Vietnam has called on investors to accelerate impact and innovation investment in order to help it meet its future development demands, according to Vu Quoc Huy, director of the Vietnam National Innovation Center under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Businesses must increasingly prioritise their ESG goals. This article explores recent regulatory and policy updates in relation to sustainable finance, notable developments in sustainability-linked loans and ASIC’s enforcement action against greenwashing.
Since Adelaide Airport signed the first Australian sustainability-linked loan (SLL) in 2018, interest in SLLs has steadily risen in the Australian and broader Asia-Pacific region. Borrowers and lenders have used SLLs as a way to align financing terms with their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. However, in the past year, the volume of sustainable debts issued globally, including SLLs, declined for the first time by 19% from the peak of US$1.1 trillion in 2021. Similar trends have been seen in the Asia-Pacific region.
A Moody’s report shows increasing numbers of issuers are using sustainable bonds to support gender-equality goals.
Orange sight. February witnessed the first-ever sustainable bond backed by the Orange Bond Principles. (Photo by Aleksandr Khmeliov via Shutterstock)
- Moody’s reports $33bn of sustainable bonds were earmarked for gender equality projects in 2022, up from $24bn in 2021.
- The world’s first sustainable debt under the Orange Bond Principles has been issued by Impact Investment Exchange.
- Closing the gender gap in labour force participation and management positions in OECD countries would result in a 7% ($7trn) bump in global GDP.
There is still very little about gender equality that makes for happy reading.
Sustainable bond issuance globally has surpassed US$3 trillion, yet less than 1 percent of that amount is dedicated to bonds that empower women and girls as a priority objective.
With gender lens investing gaining traction as part of overall sustainable bond issuance, the Orange Bond Principles are seeking to catalyse investment in gender-led bond issuance in a similar pathway to initiatives that have driven green and sustainability-linked bond demand.
Empowering women is imperative to the global community and economy if we want to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) by 2030. Time and time again, it has been proven that investing in women and empowering women-focused enterprises is the key to achieving sustainable development. Although organizations and companies in both the private and public sectors as well as governments are taking active steps to improve the financial inclusion of women, we are very far from the finish line. Women continue to be the majority of unbanked adults (56%), women also continue to earn less on average than men even in developed countries and women-led enterprises receive less funding than those led by their male counterparts. The global COVID-19 pandemic has furthered this gap and affected women, especially those from developing countries in a disproportionate manner.
At our current rate of progress, it will take 132 years to close the global gender gap, which means we will be halfway through the 22nd century before we experience an equal society.
The World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report also found that despite more substantial improvements made in areas of health, survival and education, closing the gap in economic participation and opportunity is still significantly out of reach for many women across the world.
When it comes to high-level discussions on climate, studies show that women are significantly less likely than men to get a seat at the table.*
Occupying a marginalised position in the world of governance, women often shoulder the burden of climate inaction more than their male counterparts in society, with research indicating that climate disasters disproportionately affect female populations by acting as a ‘threat multiplier’ for existing gender-specific vulnerabilities.**
On International Women’s Day, at illuminem we are proud to celebrate 100 inspiring female leaders who promote sustainability and the fight against climate change across the world.
Our editorial list is composed of 5 honorable mentions, each making a difference in a special way:
- Thought Leaders
- Future Thought Leaders
- Activists & Advocates
- Social Media Top Voices
Please help us congratulate our great female Leaders! Please join us to celebrate all women!
With an aim of employing 50,000 women doctors and healthcare workers by 2030, Sehat Kahani democratizes medical care by providing access to affordable telemedicine solutions and connecting the untapped pool of female Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) certified doctors to underserved patients.
Image source: www.sehatkahani.com