Beyond the tipping point of sustainability

The tipping point of sustainability and responsibility in finance is happening right now, says Noreena Hertz, Professor of Globalization, Sustainability and Finance at Duisenberg school of finance and Erasmus University. Fuelled by the financial crisis, people are reflecting on the status quo. In this process Hertz sees opportunities for a new balance between finance and sustainability.

Hertz summarizes her keynote speech at ESG Europe 2011 conference, which she finished just before the interview: “In the past companies started engaging with sustainability because they were concerned about regulatory risks or governmental threats. Now we increasingly see companies getting involved in sustainable actions because they realize there are returns to be made.”

On the consequences of the financial crisis, she says: “It gave us all the opportunity to step back and reflect on the kind of capitalism that we were living through. […] It raised issues about equity and justice that were not really being talked about before. Sustainability falls into that wider mix of issues.”

Hertz on the future: “It is necessary that we start realigning economy and finance with sustainability and responsibility.”

Reference and citing

The interview was recorded during ESG Europe 2011 conference, held in Amsterdam, October 2011, organized by the Responsible Investor.

This article may be reproduced according to our terms of use with attribution (and link, if online) to . To be cited as: “Beyond the tipping point of sustainability”, Noreena Hertz,, October 17, 2011.