Christoph Van der Elst

Fostering Sustainability in the Netherlands: Companies, Ownership, Engagement, Finance and Products

WP 2022-21

This paper addresses several European regulatory developments in sustainable finance and its transposition and implementation in the Netherlands. First it is discussed how sustainability is embedded in the Dutch corporate governance framework. The stakeholder approach has long been adopted into Dutch company law, however, recently, pressure from various stakeholders that sustainability should be included in the execution of the duties of the board of directors is increasing. Next, it reports the sustainability requirements of the financial entities and the state of the art of the (disclosures of the) financial products sustainability specifications. The AFM-studies show that significant progress has been made to adequately inform the financial end-investor, but also that the quality of information (and the sustainable financial investment process) can be further increased. However, it has been found that not all end-investors can fully and sufficiently qualify the disclosed information. The road to a sustainable society has started but there is a long way to go.