DSI and EY are hosting a roundtable on greenwashing | Part II Posted on October 4, 2023 at 10:29 am.Written by roelandjongejan Challenges in Marketing and Communication In 2023, DSI and EY are joining forces to organize a series of exclusive roundtable meetings focused on the timely topic of greenwashing and how the financial sector is addressing it. Our goal is to facilitate a constructive dialogue among policymakers from various sectors, discussing recent developments and their impact on investment practices. Defining greenwashing: compliance and legal aspects Our first meeting, held in June, focused on the compliance and legal aspects of greenwashing. Participants in this session extensively discussed the current definition of greenwashing and how different organizations interpret this concept. A key talking point was an article published by ESMA on June 1st, exploring the definition of greenwashing through various articles. Marketing and communication challenges In our second meeting on September 13th, a new group of specialists discussed the marketing and communication challenges associated with greenwashing. The session began with an introduction and the establishment of objectives. We then engaged in open discussions on various topics. We started by critically examining the current definition of greenwashing and reflecting on its interpretation by participating organizations. Next, we focused on how an excessive emphasis on commercial incentives can lead to greenwashing. We explored why greenwashing exists in the first place and how organizations and professionals can become involved in this phenomenon. We also discussed the challenges this presents for marketing professionals in carrying out their work. Moral and ethical considerations in the financial sector Moral and ethical considerations related to greenwashing were extensively discussed. We examined the differences in ethical perspectives on ESG between investors and institutions offering investment products. We pondered why there is a difference in understanding and whether the financial sector itself should establish concrete frameworks to provide clarity and maintain trust. Effective communication of ESG performance Another important point of discussion was how to effectively communicate a company’s ESG performance. We had extensive discussions on how this can be done transparently and accurately. Participants shared numerous practical examples where ESG performance was honestly and clearly communicated to investors. The final part of the meeting focused on creating awareness within organizations about greenwashing. We discussed how to ensure that this topic is on the agenda at all levels of an organization. Attendees shared valuable best practices. Upcoming session: greenwashing from an investment perspective It’s important to note that there will be one more session on Greenwashing in October, this time from an investment perspective, with investment specialists. The findings and insights from these three meetings will be compiled into an informative whitepaper to be shared on our website. Contact Information For more information about these inspiring meetings, please contact Floris Mreijen, the director, and/or Mark van der Lecq, the lead legal at DSI.