IFSWF Santiago Principles

Sovereign Wealth Funds Gather in Milan to Discuss Sustainable Investing

Milan/London 29 May 2023 – On Friday, the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF), a network of almost 50 sovereign wealth funds from around the world, convened an interactive workshop, The Sustainability Footprint of Sovereign Wealth Funds: Impact, Progress and Challenges. IFSWF organised the event in collaboration with the Sovereign Investment Lab (SIL) of Baffi-Carefin Center at Bocconi University, and it was hosted by the leading Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo and COIMA, the leading Italian ESG-led investor, developer and asset manager.

Over 50 representatives from 15 sovereign wealth funds, independent speakers and international finance and development institutions, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), UNCTAD and the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI), attended the event at the Gallerie d’Italia, Intesa Sanpaolo’s museum in Milan. During a day of interactive, roundtable discussions, the participants shared their experiences and debated issues, including aligning their investment strategies with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how they can think about creating impact through their investments, engaging as responsible investors with investee companies, and how sovereign wealth funds can best take advantage of the current geopolitical environment for long-term, sustainable gains.

The event closed with a tour of the award-winning urban regeneration project, Porta Nuova, which includes the iconic Bosco Verticale tower. Porta Nuova is managed by the real estate platform COIMA and owned by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). QIA has built a long-term supportive partnership with COIMA over the past decade, which has contributed to the district achieving LEED and WELL global certifications, becoming the first sustainable district in the world.

The tour included a presentation by COIMA during which participants discussed how long-term investors could consider meaningful environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in their real estate investments.

Duncan Bonfield, IFSWF’s Chief Executive, said, “Friday’s workshop was a hugely valuable opportunity for our members to share their experiences on cross-cutting sustainability issues, such as impact investment and engagement, and think about ESG from a different perspective. We are very grateful for the support of our hosts and delighted that so many of our members could attend in person. It truly shows their commitment to sustainability.”

Bernardo Bortolotti, Head of the Sovereign Investment Lab at Bocconi University, said, “Sustainable investment has clearly become a top priority in the sovereign wealth fund agenda, and the workshop has been an amazing opportunity to share our most recent research with the community and discuss challenges and solutions. Given the size of their assets, SWFs can truly make a difference in delivering on SDGs.”

Mauro Micillo, Chief of IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Division, Intesa Sanpaolo, said, “The IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Division is committed to supporting infrastructure projects that combine growth with sustainability. We are very active in the SWF space as their increasing focus on responsible and green investments is consistent with our ESG targets. We also believe that close cooperation with SWFs will contribute to accelerating our clients’ transition plans and substantially help reach the climate-neutrality goals by 2050.”

Manfredi Catella, Founder and CEO of COIMA, said, “Sustainable urban regeneration has a strategic contribution to economic development combined with social and environmental value alongside investor returns. At Porta Nuova in Milan, the first district in the world to achieve two internationally recognised certifications for sustainability and wellbeing, we have worked for over 20 years to create a flourishing new urban neighbourhood. This resulted from a synergy between the public and private sectors and our long-term strategic partnership with QIA, which has shared our sustainability and value-creation objectives. As a result, we have together delivered one of the most important urban regeneration interventions in the last twenty years in Europe, redeveloping a strategic quadrant of the city of Milan and generating a significant economic, environmental and social impact which has set a legacy that we are now expanding and improving in other neighbourhood scale development. This demonstrates what is possible when all partners are fully aligned and committed to an ESG-led approach to urban transformation.”


About the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds

The International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) is a voluntary organisation of global sovereign wealth funds committed to promoting good governance and investment management practices through dialogue, research and self-assessment. The IFSWF also promotes a deeper understanding of sovereign wealth fund activity among government and financial services institutions.

Find out more at www.ifswf.org

Contact: Victoria Barbary, Director of Strategy & Communications, IFSWF, vb@ifswf.org

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