On Monday, 25.11.2020 dr Maciej Bukowski, president of the WiseEuropa foundation took part in the debate entitled “ESG (environmental, social, governance) as an important element of the Capital Market Development Strategy or another area to (re) regulate?” during the first conference of the ESG Warsaw series. Marcin Obroniecki, Deputy Director of the Financial Market Development Department of the Ministry of Finance, dr Tomasz Wiśniewski, Deputy Director in the Department of Information Products and Indexes Development, WSE took also part in the debate as panelists and prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Jajuga, President of the Board, CFA Society Poland as a moderator.
During the debate, the institutional problems of the Polish market were raised: how SRRK addresses the issues of Sustainable Finance, what is the role of the WSE and GPW Benchmark, what are the needs for sustainable finance to really exist in the Polish financial system and on the capital market. Regulations were also referred to, seeking answers to the following questions:
- What supervisory activities should investment firms expect from the entry into force of a regulation establishing a sustainable investment framework?
- What are the next regulatory changes and when should we expect them from Brussels?
- What actions does the regulator carry out to ensure that the flow of ESG information between companies and banks, insurers and investors was consistent, uniform and did not generate excessive burdens for all parties?
- Will Taxonomy Sustainability serve investors and companies?
To sum up the debate, all participants of the debate tried to answer the questions: can ESG (environmental, social, governance) actions be evaluated and compared, and what educational and promotional activities should be undertaken in the area of responsible investments and products.
The event was organized by NN Investment Partners TFI, CFA Society Poland, Erste Securities and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. It was the first conference implemented as part of the ESG Warsaw series of meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to show how to change the world for the better and attract capital. Non-financial aspects of business operations are increasingly important for investors. Soon ESG (environmental, social, governance) factors will also be key to obtaining financing on the Polish capital market. Companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange should work on corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and reducing negative environmental impact.
Representatives of other significant market institutions also took part in the conference presenting following topics:
- Non-financial business criteria important for investors – Adrie Heinsbroek, Principal Responsible Investment, NN Investment Partners;
- Non-financial business criteria important for rating agencies – Greta Fearman, Associate Director Client Relations, Sustainalytics;
- New European Commission guidelines on reporting by climate information companies, Piotr Biernacki, President of the Board, Reporting Standards Foundation.
During the conference there was also a second discussion panel entitled: Is it worth giving a chance to “poisoners?” Which is better – involvement or exclusion?, in which participated: Friedrich Mostböck (moderator), Head of Group Research, Erste Group; Szymon Gajda, Director of the Corporate Management Department, Energa; Walter Hatak, Head of Responsible Investments, Erste Asset Management; Leszek Kąsek, Senior Economist, ING Bank Śląski; Karolina Kuś, Proxy of the Board for International Affairs, JSW; Renat Nadyukov, Lead Portfolio Manager, NN Investment Partners; Polish energy sector – what to do not to be excluded; Simon Maignan, Market Development Manager, Investment & Advisory, Refinitiv.
The success of the conference confirms the thirst for knowledge about the ESG area among Polish companies. At the same time, there is a growing awareness of their representatives in this regard. Szymon Gajda, director at Energa and Karolina Kuś, board representative at JSW, who took part in the above discussion panel proved that their companies, despite their activity in industries exposed to ESG risk, are doing a lot to develop in a sustainable way and improve their impact on the surroundings.