On 13 November 2017, the European Commission launched a public consultation on sustainable finance to assess how asset managers and institutional investors could take into consideration environmental, social and governance factors when making their decisions.

The Commission believes it could help these actors to allocate capital more efficiently if they included sustainability risks in their decision making instead of seeking to maximize short-term financial returns.

The consultation stems from the recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance in its July 2017 interim report.  The Commission is seeking to direct private capital towards green and sustainable investments to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy, showing the EU's strong commitment to mitigating risks associated with climate change and environmental challenges, and in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As announced in its 2018 Work Programme, the Commission will adopt an Action Plan on sustainable finance in the first quarter of 2018.

The public consultation is open until 22 January 2018. The reference documents and the online questionnaire that must be used to participate in the consultation can be found at:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/consultations/finance-2017-investors-duties-sustainability_en