The shifting landscape of ESG-investing in Sweden A qualitative study of how five Swedish fund companies plan to integrate the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: The awareness of sustainability has increased significantly in recent years as a result ofchanges in the environment, economic trends and social structures. As a result of that,regulatory organizations have urged the European Union to overhaul the current regulationmade to govern sustainable investing in Europe as many in the industry have feltthat ESG performance reporting has lacked supervision. The European Union thereforedecided on an action plan known as the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance.It includes a taxonomy which is a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, a disclosureregulation making it mandatory for all funds with assets in the EU to presenta measurable plan on how to incorporate ESG in their investment work and a benchmarkregulation to help investors better understand the sustainability impact of theirinvestments. The research question the thesis will answer is: “How do actors in the fieldof ESG investing adapt to changes in the landscape due to increased EU regulation?”.This report will, by interviewing fund managers, shine light on the complexity of adaptingESG friendly investment policies, gain an insight into their perception on how theregulations will affect their respective fund’s way of working and how it will change inthe near future. The information from the fund managers gives us a two-part view ofthe future. They believe that this is a step in the right direction with increased regulations,but they do not know if these three regulations are sufficient to facilitate sustainableinvestments and reduce greenwashing. It is something that time will tell. Onthe other hand, they agree that this will in some way facilitate their work in the futurerather than change it, as all funds already consider themselves to be working sustainably.

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