Open Innovation Platform to catalyse green finance initiatives in European financial centres

08 Nov 2018 by Nadia Kahkonen News
  • The Open Innovation Platform will help European financial centres develop, adopt and transfer innovations needed to mainstream green finance in local markets
  • Managed by South Pole and operating under the UN-led Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) initiative, the new platform will launch and test several innovation mechanisms in 2019 together with 12 European financial centres
  • By the end of its three-year mandate, the platform aims to have over 30 European financial centres on board

Zurich, Switzerland, and Dublin, Ireland, 8 November, 2018 – Recognising the power of financial centres in determining where capital flows, sustainability solutions provider South Pole has launched the Open Innovation Platform to catalyse and mainstream green finance initiatives in European financial centres.

The platform will focus on increasing cooperation between European sustainable financial centres,identifying the key innovation challenges specific to each centre and enabling systemic innovations as well as the design of new products and services that can contribute to the shift towards a green and sustainable financial system.

Under the umbrella of the UN-led Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) , a global network to accelerate green and sustainable finance, the Open Innovation Platform will launch and test several key innovation mechanisms in early 2019 together with 12 participating financial centres across Europe, including global hubs such as London, Frankfurt, and Luxembourg. Potential innovation mechanisms under consideration include:

  • Hackathons to identify new ideas and relationships
  • A dedicated communications platform for participating financial centres to exchange experiences, plans and most promising innovative initiatives
  • An innovation lab to accelerate the development of solutions, products and services to help the financial sector on their sustainability journey
  • Collaboration mechanisms to help catalyse joint initiatives between two or more financial centres
  • A policy and systems innovation mechanism to develop and implement novel policy options to drive the transition to green finance
  • A green finance startup accelerator to support climate/fintech start-ups

"We must set the standard for how sustainable finance should be practised going forward. Innovations and lessons learned need to be shared far and wide, which is why we are thrilled to be part of launching the Open Innovation Platform, a critical piece in the work of the UN-led Financial Centres for Sustainability initiative," says Hanna Vartto, Senior Expert, Climate Risks and Opportunities Financial Industry, South Pole .

Stephen Nolan, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Nation Ireland , which is building up Dublin as a green financial centre, and convenor of the Financial Centres for Sustainability Europe Hub (FC4S Europe), adds: "Boosting collaboration between highly competitive financial centres is key to growing the market. The Open Innovation Platform will help bring to life the necessary breakthroughs to mainstream resilient financial infrastructure in European markets."

Nick Robins, Special Adviser on Sustainable Finance for UN Environment , emphasises: "Leading financial centres are showing how they can make the transition to a low-carbon, green economy cheaper, faster and smoother. We're delighted to support the Open Innovation Platform – assisting this network of financial industry leaders through better means of collaboration and catalysing innovation is crucial."

By the end of its three-year mandate, the Open Innovation Platform aims to have over 30 European financial centres on board.


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