Almost every fund company has committed itself to sustainable investments.

Contributing to climate and environmental protection with your capital investments and at the same time serving social development is currently attracting private and institutional investors.

Very few fund companies can look back on a 20-year history in the field of sustainable capital investments.

An exception is the French asset manager Mirova, which belongs to Natixis Investment Managers, the capital investment company of the French credit union group BPCE.

Mirova managed almost 29 billion euros at the end of 2021, most of it in equity funds.

Markus Fruehauf

Editor in Business.

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CEO Philippe Zaouati considers "greenwashing", i.e. the fraudulent labeling of investments that are not really ecological, to be an "almost natural consequence of the enormous growth in sustainable investments".

What the pioneers and the politicians wanted to achieve has become mainstream, he says in an interview with the FAZ. Now there are different attitudes and behaviors among the market participants in the details, which is why common standards are necessary.

This would give investors a better idea of ​​which investments labeled “green” are actually committed to sustainability.

For Zaouati, it's not just about criteria for sustainable investments, as specified by the EU taxonomy, but also about new accounting rules.

These represent a challenge and are of great importance.

According to Zaouati, Mirova is pursuing a pragmatic approach to nuclear power: "We're not ruling it out, but we're not investing directly." Fossil energies are taboo.

Zaouati considers the EU taxonomy and the classification of nuclear power and gas as transitional technologies to be the wrong place to debate European energy policy.

There is no common position here, which is a problem.

But it cannot be solved via taxonomy.

"This is a tool to allocate more financial resources to green assets," he points out.

Social acceptance is crucial

Ecological and social goals are at the heart of Mirova's sustainable investment strategy.

Corporate governance sees Zaouati as a tool to achieve these goals, but not as a separate goal in the investment strategy.

"For us, social development is just as important as environmental and climate protection," he adds.

The transition to a sustainable economy must be accepted in all social classes, otherwise it will fail.

According to him, Mirova also pays attention to the tax practices of companies when investing in shares.

"If tax avoidance practices are too aggressive, we rate that as negative." However, in his opinion, there is not nearly as much data available on social criteria as on ecological ones.

However, Zaouati does not see the danger of a green speculative bubble.

After all, sustainable business models would also bring a lot of investment and high growth.

Rather, there is a fundamental risk of too high valuations on the financial markets, such as with some American technology stocks.

"We don't invest in Facebook because we see a conflict of interest between the business model and data protection here," he clarifies.

Mirova is interested in companies that offer solutions to combat climate change.

The technology developed is also decisive for this.