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What is Sustainable Investing?

Sustainable investing is accelerating at a rapid pace and has become a key focal area for investors, regulators and policy makers. Fundamentally, sustainable investment is an approach to incorporate Environmental, Social, Governance (“ESG”) factors into all aspects of an organisation’s activities and the genuine commitment of integrating sustainability to the overall decision making of an investment. 

As a hot topic amongst investors, the rising demand of sustainable investment has led regulators globally, including the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), to take an active role in embedding a robust framework to ensure the integration of ESG does not impair investors. Listed as one of the CBI’s priorities for 2020, Ireland has already begun setting high standards for sustainable investing.  In order to drive these ambitions, Ireland is at the forefront of adopting new policies, guidelines and taxonomies, primarily originating from the EU legislation. The main challenge with positioning sustainability at the core of our investment culture is trying to safeguard financial products so that they are not mis-sold (“greenwashing”), whereby investors are mis-lead into buying “green” or “sustainable” products which do not in fact meet basic environmental standards. The onus is placed on asset managers to better articulate how they integrate ESG factors into their investment process causing the problem of availability and access to reliable accurate ESG metrics. Emerging trends like ESG proves that keeping pace can be difficult for this surfacing industry, with new technological solutions in high demand. 

Initiatives such as Sustainathon, as spearheaded by Grant Thornton and Irish Funds are evidence of the deep interest in this new growth area in Ireland, and is in clear response to the desire of clients and investors alike to provide an industry framework 

At GECKO Governance, we are working to meet the demand for technological solutions and anticipate the launch of our ESG suite of products by the end of Q2 2020. We aim to support the Irish funds industry in creating innovative solutions to the sustainability challenges facing the industry as a whole.

GECKO Gone Green – Greenheart CBD 

GECKO Governance is at the forefront of product innovation with both our solution and bespoke consultancy and advisory services. Our client, Greenheart CBD, is an Irish owned company with a vision to bring the finest Irish made Cannabidiol CBD products from seed to shelf. They aim to help farmers to produce the finest organic hemp crops and process through cold press extraction machinery in the most natural way possible, creating the most effective CBD products for the end consumer with full traceability. GreenHeart has a number of ongoing projects, one of which is the development of a Hemp tracking and compliance platform for retailers, manufacturers, cultivators and government inspectors. Fortunately, GECKO Governance has helped in reducing the regulatory burden for Greenheart.

GECKO collaborates and assists with providing expertise and technological solutions to monitor Greenheart’s compliance. We are an ideal fit for those trying to implement a software that is bespoke to them, one that is structured around their daily processes and procedures which allows them to build out a clear trajectory of their regulatory regime with a verifiable audit trail. GECKO’s consultancy and advisory service ensures that Greenheart is one step ahead. Our legal and regulatory review allows us to pinpoint hotspots of regulatory risks, and our best practice review gives our clients the benefit of the knowledge and experience of our team in providing suggestions on best practice from a policy perspective.

Regulation and sustainability will continue to increase in different forms globally, with Ireland positioned to become a global leader for sustainable investment.

Natasha Quinn

About GECKO Governance

GECKO Governance provides a suite of Advisory, Consulting and Technology services to the crypto and asset management industries.

The company was founded in 2014 and built the first RegTech solution globally to integrate with Blockchain.

The team have over 120+ years combined financial & crypto compliance experience and are based at 3 global offices — New York, Ireland (HQ) and Sydney, Australia.

Our Advisory and Consulting business provides clients with definitive compliance solutions for their crypto and fund projects on a global basis.

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