SEB was the only bank invited to share the stage with leading lights in the climate change debate, when the world's second largest asset manager, State Street Global Advisors, held its Green Bond Summit.
The event, built on the philosophy SEB, the World Bank and Swedish investors launched onto the market three years ago, was described as a ground-breaking moment by Green Bond initiator Christopher Flensborg.
"The challenge when talking about climate change is the mix of languages – politics, banking and investing – making it hard to find a common denominator, a common reference point. This event showed that all the stakeholders are on board, and although using differently terminology, all spoke about the same outcome," Flensborg says.
"It was a real 'aha' moment for a lot of people, they realised that there really are competitive 'green' products. Even the World Bank’s special envoy said 'this day can make a difference'. "
The invitation-only event, held in Boston, the US, drew 120 attendees from issuers such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, investors, politicians, asset managers and banks, and high-level speakers such as Andrew Steer, special envoy for Climate Change from the World Bank, Jeremy Grantham, the founder of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and Gil Sperling, senior policy advisor to the US Department of Energy.
Flensborg hosted a panel discussion with representatives from the UN, the Asian Development Bank and leading lenders and asset managers. "Being invited to be part of this kind of event shows that SEB is the leading bank in this area. For a top level international asset manager to bring in a Swedish bank to lead a panel discussion shows great respect for our knowledge and expertise in this field. It is a great acknowledgement of what we are doing."