The financial services industry is undergoing seismic change. The regulatory regime is becoming increasingly complex and the compliance more costly. The environmental, social and macroeconomic risks are greater than ever. In the wake of the last financial crisis, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris agreement, shifting from shareholder value to stakeholder value is becoming financial industry’s new imperative. The competition among incumbent financial institutions is intensifying, but the greatest challenge lies ahead as the financial sector makes a radical transition to the digital age. The non-bank digital entrants - the financial technology companies (fintechs) - are disrupting the entire industry. The business model of banking and finance stands challenged.

These are indeed times of momentous change, profound challenges and unprecedented opportunities. There is a need for the senior management and stakeholders of financial institutions to get together for addressing the ongoing transformation and setting the future direction of banking and finance.


The Global Sustainable Finance Conference (GSFC), which is being held annually since 2011, is the premier and distinctive international platform for proposing practical measures for the sustainability transformation of financial institutions. During the upcoming conference, the senior leadership of financial institutions and other stakeholders will meet to examine emerging trends, find answers to pressing challenges and discuss the shaping of 21st century banking and finance.

1. Responsible and Innovative Banking & Finance in the Age of Disruption

In this session, the delegates will examine the emergence of non-bank digital entrance and cutting-edge innovations in banking and finance. Further emphasis will be on managing risks and returns in times of growing regulatory pressures, environmental challenges and paradigm shifts in global economy, society and technology. The session will address the issue of re-defining success for financial institutions in a disruptive age.

2) Financial Sector as Powerful Driver of Sustainable Development

This session will feature the strategic role of financial intermediaries in creating clean, inclusive and resilient economy. It will present and demonstrate financial services for turning Paris climate agreement into action and implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The delegates will share latest practices for ensuring long-term success of financial institutions and making them strategic partners of governments, businesses and society for achieving the “world we want”.

3) Holistic Integration of Sustainability in the Financial Institutions

One of the key focuses of the conference will be on discussing the critical importance and the practical measures for embedding sustainability into the DNA of financial institutions. The delegates will have an opportunity to hear first-hand the effective sustainability strategies and practices from peers and experts. The session will include speeches and discussions on success stories, obstacles and overcoming challenges while creating sustainable financial institutions.

4) Closing Plenary Session: The Way Forward and the Next Actionable Initiatives

This session will begin by summarizing the key issues discussed during the two-day conference. The delegates will review the collection of ideas and reflect on the strategies, practices and models examined. The focus will then shift to what’s next for the financial industry. Finally, this engaging session will offer actionable items for creating strong and resilient 21st century financial institutions.


The Paradigm Shift
Embarking on a Sustainable Journey » From short term profit orientation to long term success.

Future Proofing
Securing future market position by: creating the culture of innovation; responding to the challenge of change in the financial industry; and redefining success in the age of disruption


The conference offers a distinctive opportunity to explore:
The 21st century strategies and practices in banking and finance
Critical role of financial sector players in transforming the world
Leadership responsibilities and opportunities for financial institutions in times of depleting natural resources, rapid technological advancement and fast changing global political economy

Share and Network

Demonstrate your institution’s sustainability initiatives
Connect with people committed to make a positive change in the financial industry
Get valuable feedback on your action steps
Build global partnerships for your sustainability journey

The focus sessions will include inspiring, informative & engaging discussions on:

Financing innovations for sustainability
Latest developments in financial inclusion and SME Finance

Large-scale project financing for achieving Sustainable Development Goals
Green and responsible investments

This global forum was launched in 2011 by European Organisation for Sustainable Development and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia & the Pacific in cooperation with the City of Karlsruhe. It was initiated under the auspices of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions and was endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme - Financial Institutions (UNEP FI).