The report aims to achieve two objectives: on the one hand, to demonstrate to people who already invest in a sustainable way that this form of investment continues to grow and occupy new spaces; and on the other hand, to explain to those who have never heard of ethical finances that are very different from traditional banking and that, however, allow them to preserve or increase the economic value of their own savings over time, as well as add to the Last line of the bank statement a series of different values, such as respect for the environment , the fight against climate change, the right to housing or a healthy diet.
Of the 715,000 million quoted, 39,800 million represent the assets of approximately thirty European ethical and sustainable banks , which at the end of 2016 had granted loans totaling 29,330 million euros to tens of thousands of projects for social inclusion, environmental protection , culture or international cooperation .
493,000 million were invested in socially responsible funds, that is, in stocks and bonds of listed companies or state securities, selected with sustainability criteria: no weapons, games of chance or tobacco and green light to companies and States that invest in renewable energies , that adopt certified environmental management systems and that are not involved in any type of serious controversy.
On the other hand, microcredit has proved for these banks to be valid also for the needs of 750,000 Europeans: loans of a few thousand euros to help start up business activities or to face a temporary need for liquidity.
In Europe, the total of microcredits granted totals 2,540 million euros . A small figure with respect to the credits of the ethical banks and the investments of the socially responsible funds but which represents the sum of hundreds of thousands of small loans that have made a difference, the report points out.
Green bonds (green bonds ), through which companies and governments borrow in the market to finance environmental projects, shot up in the 2013-2014 biennium and continue to grow now: in Europe, according to the latest aggregate data released in 2016, the value of the green bonds in circulation was 211,000 million dollars , 178,000 million euros at the current exchange rate. Secondary but in strong expansion, are the social impact bonds, which are in turn financed welfare projects for a total of 273 million euros.