Upcoming Events

December 2020

Thursday 10th December 2020
Virtual meeting (register here)

After a challenging 2020, we would like to offer some hope and optimism for next year at our Festive Fireside entitled “Finance for Change – Reasons to be Cheerful in 2021”, which forms part of our Path to COP26 campaign.

Taking place on the 10th December at 16:00 GMT, the event will have a Scottish flavour, with speakers including: Dame Susan Rice, Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Willie Watt, Chair of the recently launched Scottish National Investment Bank and Andrew Wilson, Chair of Scotland’s Sustainable Growth Commission.

Discussion points will include the new mission-led Scottish National Investment Bank, Scotland’s natural capital, green recovery from COVID and the COP26 summit in Glasgow next year.

We hope you can join us virtually with a festive treat and raise a glass to a better 2021!

This event forms part of our Path to COP26 campaign, and will take place via Zoom; to register for FREE, please click this LINK.

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Previous Events

November 2020

The Path to COP26 – One Year To Go


Tuesday 10th November 2020
Virtual meeting (register here)

With a year until the postponed COP26 Glasgow summit, we look at the context of COP26, and take in the views from leading banks and asset managers on how they plan to turn talk into action in Glasgow.

We will be joined for The Path to COP26 – One Year to Go on 10 November, 14:00-15:30 (GMT) by David Pitt-Watson, former UNEP FI Chair, Ingrid Holmes of Federated Hermes, Isabel Fernandez of ING and Hamish Patrick of Shepherd and Wedderburn.

As emphasised at Ethical Finance 2020, COP26 will be a huge milestone for climate action. At COP21 in Paris, the finance sector was able to collaborate on important frameworks such as TCFD and strengthening the Green Bonds Principles. If we are to achieve net zero, finance needs to collaborate on an even greater scale to incentivise decarbonising the economy.

For a successful COP along with the 10 days of the summit the run-up will be critical to set the foundations and frame the commitments required to materialise through national diplomacy and civil society actions. Our Path to COP26 campaign seeks to bring the finance sector together ahead of the summit to ensure that we can make COP26 as successful as the world needs it to be.

The event will take place via Zoom and to register for FREE, please click this LINK.

This event forms part of our Path to COP26 campaign.

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October 2020

Global Ethical Finance Initiative – Ethical Finance Summit 2020

Monday 5th – Thursday 8th October 2020
Virtual summit

The premier event in Edinburgh advocating finance for positive change.

It is now widely recognised that the financial services sector has a fundamental role to play in delivering universally supported targets such as the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, despite its potential, the current financial system can be a cause, rather than a solution, to some of the pressing challenges our planet and its people currently face. Ethical Finance 2020 will explore how the finance services can support inclusive economic growth without depleting natural resources or leaving anyone behind.

Organised in partnership with UNDP and the Scottish Government, Ethical Finance 2020 convened over 350 leading finance practitioners from across the globe to help define and shape the transition to a sustainable financial system where finance delivers positive change.

August 2020

Ethical Finance Round Table: Impact Investing - Can it Save Capitalism?


Wednesday 26th August 2020
Virtual meeting (register here)

Our latest virtual Ethical Finance Round Table will take place on 26 August at 14:00 (BST). Entitled ‘Impact Investing – Can it Save Capitalism?’, it will consider the role of impact investing as we shift from ‘shareholder capitalism’ towards ‘stakeholder capitalism’.

Amy Clarke, Chief Impact Officer of Tribe Impact Capital, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Mokhtar, former Managing Director of Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Dean Hand, Director of Research at the Global Impact Investing Network will join us to share their views on the role the $502 billion global impact investing market can play in solving many of the world’s greatest problems as we transition to a new economic paradigm.

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July 2020

Finance for Nature Global Summit

Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st July 2020
Virtual meeting (register here)

Following the success of the inaugural “Finance for Nature Global Summit”, GEFI, UNDP, UNEP, the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform and Climate Advisers are convened the Finance for Nature Virtual Global Series to accelerate momentum on nature-based finance in advance of the UN Climate and Biodiversity COPs in 2021.

Taking place via Zoom on 20/21 July 2020, the summit brought together together industry champions from finance, insurance, consumer goods companies and standard-setting regulators to drive practical commitments on investing in nature.

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June 2020

The Radical Old Idea's first talk - Responsible Business in a Time of Crisis

Tuesday 23rd June 2020
Zoom meeting

The Radical Old Idea is a platform inspired by the historic Scottish enlightenment that seeks to inform a new and better financial paradigm. The periodic intellectual gathering of financial services stakeholders will explore innovative (radical) ideas that deliver positive financial and economic outcomes for the benefit of society.

We are delighted to launch the Radical Old Idea series with a talk from Professor Alex Edmans of London Business School. In the session, chaired by Eva Cairns, ESG Investment Analyst – Climate Change at Aberdeen Standard Investments, Professor Edmans will discuss what it means to be a responsible business, for companies of all sizes and in all industries and explain the business case for responsibility in normal times as well as crisis times, and how companies can ensure that responsibility is consistent with long-term shareholder value.

Alex will draw on rigorous academic research, real-world examples, and his new book, Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit. Please click here for more information.

This talk forms part of our “Path to COP26” campaign.

May 2020

Virtual Round Table: Post-Covid-19 – Role of Ethical Finance in Rebuilding the Economy


21 May 2020, 15:30-17:00 (BST)
Zoom (Click to register)

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted financial markets with an unprecedented speed and ferocity. It has led to a re-evaluation of many assumptions about the global economy with health security now joining the climate emergency as the most pressing challenges of our generation. As financial institutions and economic systems adapt to better serve people and the planet this session will consider the extent to which this emerging paradigm will accelerate the mainstreaming of ethical finance.

Global perspectives will be shared by: Rupert Watson, Head of Asset Allocation at Mercer, which manages $304.5 billion USD and advises on a further $15 trillion in assets; Professor Liz Grant, a co-director of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Compassion Initiative developing work on the value base of the SDGs and the science of compassion; and Michael Moe, Founder & CEO of Silicon Valley-based GSV and one of the world’s preeminent authorities on growth investing. As ever the session will conclude with a moderated Q&A.

March 2020

Financing the SDGs - Investment Solution Workshop

Monday 23rd March 2020
Scotland House, 58 Victoria Embankment, Temple, London, EC4Y 0DS

The session is an important milestone within a pioneering 2-year programme of collaboration between UNDP and Scottish Government that is seeking to develop a financial instrument to allow global financial institutions to generate market rate financial returns at the same time as delivering additional positive social / environmental impact. The financial instrument to be discussed at the workshop is a PE fund of funds platform as this emerged as the preferred solution from 80+ interviews conducted with senior practitioners by our project partner RJ Fleming & Co.

This session forms part of our “Path to COP26” integrated year-long campaign.

* This event is by invitation only *

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February 2020

Ethical Finance Round TablePath to COP26 - Financing a Green Future Round Table

Thursday 27th February 2020
Baillie Gifford, The Cube, 45 Leith Street , Edinburgh EH1 3AT

Later this year the eyes of the world will be focused on Scotland when senior politicians from across the globe convene at COP26 in Glasgow to negotiate the acceleration of efforts to tackle climate change.

Climate change is a large, systemic financial risk that will change asset values as investment moves away from high carbon assets towards a low carbon economy. According to UNEP FI the climate transition will require additional investment of at least $60 trillion from now until 2050. For financial institutions to become enablers and catalysts they must therefore understand the commercial risks and opportunities implied, and know how to act on them.

This session forms part of our “Path to COP26” integrated year-long campaign.


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December 2019

Ethical Finance Round TableEthical Finance Market Update - Keynote Interviews

Monday 16th December 2019, 4pm – 6pm
Baillie Gifford (Main Office), Calton Square1 Greenside Row, Edinburgh, EH1 3AN

To celebrate the festive period we will be deviating from our normal format by having two keynote interviews with experts providing updates from the investment and banking markets.

As 2019 draws to a close we felt that it was timely to pause to reflect on the evolution of the ethical finance market and consider what lies ahead amid on-going political, economic, social and environmental uncertainty. To do this, Andrew Cave (Head of Governance & Sustainability, Baillie Gifford) and Thom Kenrick (Head of Community Programmes, RBS) will share their reflections. They will be interviewed by GEFI Senior Consultant Gail Hurley who has recently completed 10 years with UNDP in New York as a Senior Advisor – Development Finance.


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October 2019

Global Ethical Finance Initiative – Ethical Finance 2019

Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th October 2019
RBS Conference Centre, RBS Conference Centre 175 Glasgow Road, Gogarburn, Edinburgh, EH12 9BH

The premier event in Edinburgh advocating finance for positive change.

Organised in partnership with UNDP and the Scottish Government, Ethical Finance 2019 convened over 350 leading finance practitioners from across the globe to help define and shape the transition to a sustainable financial system where finance delivers positive change.


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February 2019

Ethical Finance Round TableEthical Finance Approaches in the Debt Capital Markets

Wednesday 27th February 2019, 12pm – 2pm
Baillie Gifford, The Cube, 45 Leith Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3AT

In 2017 HSBC pledged to provide $100bn in sustainable financing and investment by 2025. HSBC will provide an update on this strategy outlining demand for green and SDG fixed income vehicles and how they benefit communities and the environment.

Chris and Caspar will share their insights in developing Cameron Hume’s Global Fixed Income ESG Fund and the challenges involved for asset managers operating in the ethical bond market.


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