1st Edition

Ethical Finance and Prosperity Beyond Environmental, Social and Governance Investing

    295 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The debate on connections between economic activity and socio-environmental impact has become increasingly relevant. As a result, ethical finance is emerging from its niche. However, the terms "ethical finance" and "sustainable finance" are often confused and overlapping, and the risk of greenwashing is high. Many authors suggest the need of a paradigm shift because the present economic system is no longer able to maintain a safe environment. Tim Jackson explicitly argues about the need of a future of "prosperity without growth". From the experiences of ethical finance, we can identify some interesting tools to achieve that goal.

    This book explains how ethical finance works and which innovations it has engendered in financial and economic systems; clarifies the links between finance and ethics, going beyond Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, and offers an approach, which is vital for most financial sectors, from microcredit to impact investing; investigates the goals, constraints, and opportunities of environmental and social considerations in finance and explores the more innovative experiences in banking and investing. It helps readers understand the phenomena in depth, distinguishing the strategic, managerial, organizational, and risk practices of ethical finance. The authors adopt a holistic but critical approach, both with respect to the practices exercised by financial intermediaries, and with reference to new regulatory aspects. The book identifies the key issues and current challenges of ethical finance, both for financial operators and regulators.

    Several concrete international cases offer empirical comparisons of practices, and as such it will be an invaluable reference for academics and researchers who wish to deepen their knowledge of ethical finance.

    Introduction 1. Why ethical finance: A quick deep dive into criticism of mainstream finance 2. An ethical mapping for ethical finance organizations 3. Ethical finance: origins and definition 4. Financing instruments and ethical finance 5. Investment instruments and ethical finance 6. How ethical finance is organized 7. Impact measures 8. Conditions for the development of Ethical finance 9. Closure: Ethical finance beyond the niche


    Ugo Biggeri has been co-founder of Banca Etica Group in Italy of which he was past President. He is active within the main international networks of ethical finance and is a lecturer of Finance and Microcredit for Development at the University of Florence, Italy.

    Giovanni Ferri is Professor of Economics in the Department of Law, Economics, Politics, and Modern Languages, LUMSA University, Rome, Italy. Formerly, he served at Banca d’Italia – Italy’s Central Bank and banking supervisor – and at the World Bank.

    Federica Ielasi is Associate Professor of Banking in the Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence, Italy. She has served many years in the board of ethical finance asset managing company in Italy.

    Pedro M. Sasia is Head of the Department of Humanities at the University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain. He is a main promoter of ethical banking in Spain and president of European Federation of Ethical Banks (FEBEA).