On August 4th, Ignacio Gavilan, Sustainability Director at The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) spoke on a panel discussion hosted by BrightTALK on the topic of sustainable finance. Ignacio who oversees the CGF’s Coalitions of Action on Food Waste and Plastic Waste was invited to the panel to share his thoughts on the role of the financial sector in tackling sustainability issues.

Ignacio was joined in the discussion by Maria Lettini from FAIRR (The Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return), David McNeil from Fitch Ratings, Julia Bewerunge from Climate Partner, and Travis Miller from Assent Compliance. Moderated by Dana Hanby, Managing Director of ESG Nexus, the panel resulted in an engaging discussion on the key challenges and solutions in the sustainable finance space. Panellists spoke about the impact of changes in consumer preferences on the implementation of sustainability in the FMCG and agriculture sectors, and explored the question of whether investors have a blind spot where FMCG and agriculture are concerned.

Ignacio then spoke on the topic of deforestation, an area where the CGF has been working for the past decade, sharing his knowledge on the key drivers, including agriculture, forestry, mining, natural fires and urbanisation. For real impact to occur, we need collective action on the ground, as well as political engagement at national and regional levels. Ignacio spoke of the need for the financial sector to play a role in solving deforestation, alongside governments, the private sector, NGOs, smallholder farmers and local stakeholders – all actors must work together.

Ignacio shared with the panel that he believes that dialogue between the FMCG industry and the financial sector could be improved. There is, he said, a huge opportunity for connect the dots to help accelerate implementation on sustainability. “The financial sector can come in and make a big difference in areas where urgent funding is required”, he said.

The CGF was pleased to participate in the workshop which provided an opportunity to engage with representatives from various sectors on this important issue.