Mediathek

Abstract: Sustainable development is an ongoing process based on a set of principles that have to continue to spread throughout all economic activities. Looking at the current economic scenario, the transformation of the financial sector appears crucial. I first define a working definition of sustainable finances. Powerful drivers towards sustainable practices in strong profit-oriented markets are sustainable consumer behaviour and social expectations. Mixed methodology is used to analyse the current and future scenarios of sustainable finances from the consumer perspective. The study focuses on the potential to foster sustainability and on the long-term competitiveness. Although there are strengths and opportunities for further development, there are also threats that need immediate solutions. As a consequence of the financial crisis, society is seeking new alternatives and sustainable finances should be considered as an indispensable one. Public mistrust leads to the necessity of supporting and protecting those truly sustainable initiatives. A third party certification system as a tool to protect and enhance the adequate development of sustainable finances is discussed.