Vlerick Business School and ABN AMRO join forces to strengthen academic research in sustainable finance

Vlerick Business School and ABN AMRO join forces in a new three-year partnership to strengthen academic research in sustainable finance. With this partnership, ABN AMRO will participate in Vlerick’s Centre for Sustainable Finance to facilitate academic research providing a model to measure Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) for SME’s.

Professor David Veredas, director of the Centre, said “We thank ABN AMRO for the support and for their interest in the topic of ESG reporting by SMEs. This is a very important subject today. Most, if not all, ESG reporting standards were designed for large corporations, yet the vast majority of companies in a country like Belgium are SMEs. Our research will help the Belgian ecosystem to improve reporting on sustainability and hence integrate this important dimension in their strategies.”

Solange Rouschop, CEO of ABN AMRO Private Banking in Belgium, said: “We are very much looking forward to working together with Vlerick Business School and other partners in this important topic for our clients, our bank and society. Conducting this research will help SME’s in their transition to sustainability and is a proof point of our purpose ‘Banking for Better, for generations to come’.”

Dimitrios Kolokas, doctoral researcher at Vlerick Business School, will be conducting the research. He received the ‘Researcher of the Year Award 2020’ from Vlerick Business School on 15 January 2021. The partnership is complementary to already existing partnerships within ABN AMRO. As an example, Oxford University is conducting academic research, focusing specifically on ‘the effect of sustainability on SME’s’ and ‘financial performances & risks’, supported by ABN AMRO.

Facilitating academic research in sustainable finance is one of the steps taken by ABN AMRO to support the transition to a more sustainable society. For instance, within Commercial Banking, ABN AMRO provides sustainable finance and finances circular deals. Also, clients of ABN AMRO who use the banks investment advice and asset management services now receive in-depth insight into the sustainability impact of their investments on a quarterly basis. And private individuals can invest in the Global Impact Equity Fund, giving clients the opportunity to invest in companies that could produce financial yields but also have a positive impact on society and the environment. Investments start from as little as 50 euros.

About ABN AMRO

ABN AMRO is a Dutch bank for retail, corporate and private banking clients, offering a full range of financial products and solutions. Our focus is on Northwest Europe. In Belgium, ABN AMRO offers services to corporate banking and private banking clients, holding a top 10 position in private banking.