Insights on Reporting The Business Model, Sustainability Risks and Opportunities

4 October 2021

Dawn Slevin, ELS Europe Co-chaired with Mario Abela, Director WBCSD, the European Financial Reporting and Advisory Group (EFRAG) project taskforce on the reporting of non-financial risks and opportunities and linkage to the business model. This report prepared by leading sustainability experts aims to help companies to benchmark and improve their current reporting practices, in line with the proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), as well as tools such as the EU Taxonomy. It is a 'go to' reference for sustainability reporting by financial and non-financial international companies, as well as SME's, that make measurable and substantial efforts to improve the sustainability of their operations, products and services across environmental and social aspects, including intangibles.

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EFRAG European Lab Project on risk and opportunities and linkage to the business model

25 May 2021

The summary report of the European [email protected] webinar:Good reporting practices on sustainability-related risks, opportunities and linkage to the business model, held on 25 May 2021 and recordings of the event are available on-line.

The EFRAG project taskforce co-chaired by Dawn Slevin, Managing Director ELS Europe held Outreach Events with stakeholders from preparing companies, data users including investors and analysts, assurance providers, NGO's, data providers, and academics. Shared during the outreach were examples of good reporting on the business model, sustainability-related risks and opportunities and pathways for how companies can improve their disclosures.

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Irish Funds Asset Management Forum

30 April 2021

The Irish Funds Asset Management Forum invited ELS Europe's MD, Dawn Slevin, to discuss the EU Taxonomy as a key tool for Green Financing incorporating multi-disciplinary stakeholders.  Dawn shared knowledge and insights and generated dialogue amongst the Irish Funds Industry on the related institutions, expert groups, international context, regulatory approach and timelines going forward associated with the EU Taxonomy and other sustainability-related developments affecting the funds industry.

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CDP Europe Company Workshop: Build Forward Better

7 April 2021

The CDP Workshop was a European Corporate Roundtable to help leverage the EU Green Deal to drive science based, net-zero and resource-secure value chains.  Dawn Slevin, MD ELS Europe presented on the corporate reporting journey including the nature, scope and ambition for the EU Taxonomy and the key chalenges for Companies as preparers of information.  Dawn discussed how information flows facilitate capital flows to sustainable economic activities.

EFRAG Preparatory work for non-financial reporting standards

15 January 2021

This outreach event was hosted by the European Financial Reporting and Advisory Group (EFRAG) Project Task Force on preparatory work for the elaboration of possible EU non-financial reporting standards in cooperation with major European stakeholders - Accountancy Europe, CSR Europe, DASB, EAA, ecoDa, EFAA, EFFAS, European Issuers, Eurosif and SMEunited. Dawn represented Eurosif to speak about the EU principle-based system - proposing a ‘Principle of Equal Standing’ to underpin the overarching aim that Sustainability-related Reporting be recognised of equal import to the functioning of the European Economy as Financial reporting , and the imperative of access to rigorous, reliable and consistent Company data.

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  • Preparatory Work on EU non-financial reporting standards

EU Taxonomy Training Course

October 2020

This 11-hour training course was delivered by ELS Europe and Frankfurt School of Finance and was aimed at investment professionals/financial market participants who would like to improve their understanding of investments into environmentally sustainable economic activities. The course aimed to assist investment professionals to gain a firm understanding of the EU Taxonomy and its practical implementation.  The training Modules included Pathways to Paris Alignment, Access to Data, Disclosures and Case Studies.

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Perspectives on the Renewed Strategy for Sustainable Finance

10 June 2020

This event was co-organised by Department of Finance, Ireland & Sustainable Nation Ireland Director General of DG FISMA John Berrigan, the head of Sustainable Finance Martin Spolc and Minister of Finance, Pascal Donohoe, T.D. ELS Europe participated amongst a panel of senior decision makers from the financial services industry, including AIB’s CEO Dr Colin Hunt and MD of Irish Life, Patrick Burke who shared what the European Green Deal means for them and their sector.

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European Court of Auditors Workshop

15 June 2020

ELS Europe was invited to contribute to a Workshop for the European Court of Auditors organised by Frankfurt School and Climate & Co. The workshop provided expert input for audit on Sustainable Finance including needs, barriers, action and instruments to mobilise private finance. Dawn Slevin MD ELS Europe discussed the application of the EU Taxonomy, the role of the European Financial Structural Instruments (EFSI) and Invest EU, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) with analysis and case examples, followed by Q&A.

Perspectives on the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy

10 June 2020

ELS Europe's Managing Director Dawn Slevin participated in the Irish Department of Finance & DG FISMA webinar on the renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy.  Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Pascal Donohue TD lead the discussion which featured the Director General of DG FISMA, John Berrigan.  Dawn contributed to a panel discussion on the risks & opportunities of Sustainable Finance along with Irish Life MD Patrick Burke and AIB CEO Dr. Colin Hunt.

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Maples Group and AIMA present: An Operational Summary of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation

14 May 2020

Dawn Slevin, Managing Director, ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance discusses the Sustainable Finance Disclosure and Taxonomy Regulations with Peter Stapleton, Partner and Head of Funds & Investment Management, Eimear O’Dwyer, Partner, Funds & Investment Management of Maples Group and Marie-Adelaide de Nicolay, Brussels Office Head, the Alternative Investment Managers Association (AIMA). The presentation was launched alongside the AIMA Guide to EU Sustainability Disclosures Regulation.

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  • AIMA Sustainable Finance Disclosure Presentation and Guide

Sustainable Finance - EU Taxonomy Report Published

9 March 2020

The reports on the EU Taxonomy and the EU Green Bond Standard were published on 9 March 2020. Dawn Slevin, Managing Director, ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance contributed to the Taxonomy Working Group since June 2018 as co-chair of the 'do no significant harm' technical criteria.

The final report of the Technical Expert Group (TEG) contains recommendations relating to the overarching design of the Taxonomy, as well as guidance on how companies and financial institutions can make disclosures using the taxonomy. The report is supplemented by a technical containing an updated list of technical screening criteria for economic activities that can substantially contribute to climate change mitigation or adaptation, including an assessment of significant harm to other environmental objectives.

The Commission will use this report as a basis to develop rules setting out the EU’s classification of green activities for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People said:

Sustainable finance will be essential to mobilise much-needed financing to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. These reports by the Technical Expert Group are welcome as they provide excellent input for us to develop our final standards on climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. They will also help us establish EU green bond standards as part of broader measures to spur the take-up of sustainable finance in Europe.

The Commission will adopt the classifications for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation in the form of Delegated Acts by the end of 2020, as set out in the Taxonomy Regulation.

The Usability guide for the Green Bond Standard offers market actors guidance on the use of the proposed standard and the set-up of a market-based registration scheme for external verifiers. The European Commission will explore the possibility of a legislative initiative for an EU Green Bond Standard in the context of the public consultation on the renewed sustainable finance strategy, taking place from March to May 2020.

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Sustainable Finance Person of the Year Award

4 November 2019

Dawn was honoured with the Irish Sustainable Finance Person of the Year Award 2019 at the Climate Finance Week Ireland Conference held in Iveagh House on November 4, 2019. The award recognises individuals who have made the most significant impact on the field of sustainable finance in Ireland during the year. Dawn received the award in recognition of her work on the European Commission’s Technical Expert Group, Taxonomy sub-group.

The award was shared with Professor Andreas Hoepner, UCD Smurfit School also a member of the TEG, Benchmarks subgroup.

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Trinity College Dublin

4 March 2020

Public sector responses to tackling climate change at the national and supranational level have been difficult and slow. The private sector also has a major role to play. Financial services can play a key role in transitioning our economies to a more sustainable future, redirecting funds away from firms with poor environmental standards and channelling them towards sustainable innovations to reduce the negative impact that humans are inflicting on the environment and on the natural world.

Dawn Slevin, Managing Director, ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance discussed the role of financial services along with panel speakers Kathy Ryan, Head of ESG, ILIM, Emma Jane Jorce, Head of Responsible Investing. NTMA, Mark Merrigan, Head of Bonds NTMA and James Johnston, Vice President International Markets, Euronext. The panel discussed what investors and issuers can do to position Dublin as a major international hub for sustainable finance.

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Norway Finance - The EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy

13 February 2020

Dawn Slevin, Managing Director, ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance along with Inger-Johanne Rygh, Economic and Financial Controller, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of member states expert group presented to an audience of over one hundred members of Norway Finance representing Norwegian banks, investors, fund managers and insurers.

The presentations were held at Norway Finance office in Oslo and covered the EU Sustainable Fiannce Action Plan, The EU Green Deal and the EU Taxonomy.

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COP25 - UNFCCC Climate Change Conference, Madrid, Spain

9-10 December 2019

Investors now want to know if their activities are truly consistent with the Paris Agreement. The EU Sustainable Taxonomy will identify performance thresholds for economic activities that are consistent with a net zero, 2050 economy.

The Taxonomy will form the basis of future financial product claims about contributions to the Paris Agreement and other environmental commitments in Europe. Developed over two years and involving over 200 finance, industry, science and non-government experts, the Taxonomy methodology can encourage and support the development of similar frameworks around the world.

Dawn Slevin, Managing Director, ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance explored the design and future use of the Taxonomy, sharing insights about how investors around the world can use the Taxonomy approach sharing the panel with Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Nathan Fabian, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, PRI and member of the EU Technical Expert Group (Moderator), Nancy Saich, Chief Climate Change Expert, European Investment Bank and member of the EU Technical Expert Group, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, co-president of the Club of Rome and member of the EU Technical Expert Group, Helena Viñes Fiestas, Head of Sustainability Research, BNP Paribas Asset Management, France and member of the EU Technical Expert Group, Sean Kidney, CEO Climate Bonds Initiative and member of the EU Technical Expert Group and Jose Luis Blasco, Global Sustainability Director, Acciona and member of the Technical Expert Group.

At a second panel organised by the European Banking Federation where Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People opened with a Keynote Speech, Dawn joined a panel with Sebastien de Brouwer, European Banking Federation, Gwen Yu, Head of Engagement Transformation, BNP Paribas, Nancy Saich, Chief Climate Change Expert, European Investment Bank and member of the EU Technical Expert Group, Dr, Judith Post, Minezk – Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Netherlands and Simon Connell, Head of Sustainability Strategy, Standard Chartered Bank.

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Afore Consulting - Sustainable Finance

4 December 2019

Dawn Slevin, Managing Director ELS Europe and member Technical Expert Group moderated the panel on Sustainable Finance: Design of the EU Taxonomy - how the concept of transition should be taken into account in the EU’s legislative framework and incorporated into the taxonomy.

Panellist speakers included Marie Baumgarts, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB and member of the EU Technical Expert Group, Charlotte Gardes, Deputy Head of the Financial Stability, Accounting Standards and Corporate Governance Unit, DG Trésor, The French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, Gabriele Arnoldi, Financial Attaché, Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU and Thomas Seale, Independent Director, Former Chairman of the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, Former Chairman of LuxFlag.

Opening speach was by Martin Spolc, Head of Financial Technology and Sustainable Finance Unit, DG FISMA, European Commission and keynote by Eila Kreivi, Director Capital Markets, European Investment Bank.

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Natural Capital Investment Conference

25 November 2019

With the European Green Deal on the horizon, prospects for boosting the nature and natural capital investment agenda have never been better. It is time to consolidate efforts and scale nature and natural capital investments proposals from the millions to the billions.

Restoring and protecting nature and natural capital for people and policy makers on the one hand is reducing natural capital risks for business and the economy for others. Environmental accounting is a critical missing link and focusing attention on will help unlock significant investment potential.

This panel considered: How are policymakers approaching the topic of natural capital? What policies would support being able to adequately value natural capital? What are regulators doing to assess and understand natural capital risks? How does natural capital overlap with the SDGs? What are the direct and indirect ramifications for natural capital investors? Could the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan be a game changer for natural capital?

The moderator Kerry ten Kate, Director, Biodiversity Initiative, Forest Trends, discussed these questions with Dawn Slevin, Managing Director ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group , Chris Hart, Senior Sustainable Finance Associate, Natural Capital Finance Alliance, Sarah Montgomery, Deputy Director, Green Finance, DEFRA, Thomas Verheye, Principal Advisor, Green Finance & Investment, European Commission – DG Environment, and Martin Lok, Natural Capital Coalition.

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Climate Finance Week

5 November 2019

The panel 'Policy & Regulatory Update: Direction of Travel was hosted by SIF Ireland, working to advance responsible investment best practice across all asset classes in Ireland. ESG Day was opened by Minister Donohue at 9am followed by the panel discussion on the EU Action Plan Sustainable Finance policy and regulatory agenda.
The panel was hosted by CEO Sustainable Nation Ireland and Managing Director FC4S Network, with Dawn Slevin, Managing Director, ELS Europe and member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, Vasileios Madouros, Director of Financial Stability, the Central Bank of Ireland, and Andreas Hoepner, Head of Operational Risk, UCD Smurfit and member of TEG.

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European Research and Innovation Days

24-26 September 2019

The 'European Research and Innovation Days', was the first of its kind and brought together Europe’s best and brightest researchers, scientists, innovators and policy-makers. It featured three main elements: a high-level Policy Conference, the Innovative Europe Hub and the ‘Science is Wonderful’ exhibition of EU-funded projects. The panel entitled "Marketing or for Real? Sustainable Finance for Research & Investment" hosted by Martin Spolc considered the role and relevance of sustainable finance, notably on how private financing can bridge the investment gap to climate and energy goals.

Dawn Slevin, ELS Europe as panellist speaker, was joined by Hanna Luczkiewicz, Senior Trade Manager, BASF, Gwen Yu, Head of Engagement Transformation, BNP Paribas, Benjamin Hartmann, Head Institutional Team, European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission and Alexandra Sombsthay, Solar Impulse, Switzerland.

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  • Watch video recording

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The European Commission DG FISMA Sustainable Finance Stakeholder Dialogue

24 June 2019

The European Commission DG FISMA Sustainable Finance Stakeholder Dialogue: progress and outcomes of the technical expert group’s work on sustainable finance.

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How we built the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy

18 June 2019

Environmental Finance 'How we built the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy' by Dawn Slevin.

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Released final reports

18 June 2019

Released on 18 June 2019, interim reports of the EU Taxonomy, EU Green Bond Standard, and Climate Benchmarks, and Non-Binding Financial Reporting Guidelines.

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