AmCham Quality Management Working Group Discussed EU Taxonomy

AmCham Quality Management working group held a virtual meeting on December 9th, with main topic – EU Taxonomy: Green shades into your portfolio or a pass to EU recovery package.

EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy has been designed to direct finance to sustainable investments and ensure the transition to a climate-neutral, resilient, and resource-efficient economy. COVID-19 pandemic shifted the focus of the European Commission (EC) and the national governments to the social and economic crises but the recovery process has been seen by EC as an opportunity to rebuild a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe. In order to achieve that the EC has created the “largest stimulus package ever” consisted of the EU’s long-term budget and the recovery instrument NextGenerationEU. A total of EUR 1.8 trillion will help the EU to repair the immediate economic and social damage and lay the foundations for a modern and more sustainable Europe in the context of the Green Deal.

The moderator was Ekaterina Shilegarska, AmCham QMWG Co-chair. At the end of the webinar she summarized:

„European Commission has assured the consensus on the EU’s long-term budget and the coronavirus recovery fund but obviously it’s still exploring how the taxonomy can be used in spending this enormous “stimulus package” in line with the Green Deal. We understand that the European Investment Bank is working on the development of sustainability criteria for the projects it’ll support and the EC will propose minimum mandatory green criteria or targets for public procurements in sectorial initiatives, EU funding or product-specific legislation so we’ll hear more about the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy in the coming months and we all have to adapt our business strategies to it.”

Mrs. Hristina Pendicheva, Financial Markets Regulation Directorate, Ministry of Finance and Mr. Boyan Rashev, Managing Partner, Denkstatt were the guest speakers at the meeting.

Hristina Pendicheva, Financial Markets Regulation Directorate, Ministry of Finance

Hristina Pendicheva, Financial Markets Regulation Directorate, Ministry of Finance said that the Taxonomy Regulation sets out an EU-wide framework – a classification system which is called “taxonomy” that defines which economic activities are “sustainable”. She emphasized that the EU taxonomy is designed to have a common understanding what is “green” and to prevent greenwashing.

“The ultimate aim is to encourage investment flows from the financial sector to companies engaged in more sustainable activities or that enable transition to more sustainable economy so that the EU can become carbon neutral by 2050 and meet its climate change goals. Commission is currently exploring the possible use of the definition of “environmentally sustainable investment” in Union law, and at Member State level.”, said Mrs. Pendicheva.

Download the full presentation of Hristina Pendicheva.

According to Boyan Rashev, Managing Partner, Denkstatt the Taxonomy Regulation defines “sustainable” as practically equivalent to “climate-neutral”.

Boyan Rashev, Managing Partner, Denkstatt

He presented the classification of the sustainable business activities in the EU in several categories:

  • Low carbon;
  • Transitional;
  • Enabling the achievement of the European Green Deal goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“The list of sustainable activities is not very long and there are strict compliance criteria for joining it. Companies should be aware of the risks and opportunities merging from the Taxonomy because it will have a direct impact on their access to financing in the future. The smart approach to the topic starts with an analysis of your baseline using the TCFD framework.”, said Mr. Rashev.    

Download the full presentation of Boyan Rashev.

Watch the video from the webinar.