The potential of the finance sector to play a key role in advancing the sustainability agenda has been well-known for some time. Indeed, it is nearly 30 years since the establishment of the UN Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) following the Rio summit on sustainability in 1992.

Building on trends in other countries and regions, in particular the EU, in late November, the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI) released its roadmap on ways in which the finance sector in Australia can support building a more sustainable future.

The roadmap is well-framed and well-intentioned, and provides an impressive collection of potential actions and recognises the potential role of natural capital and the SEEA (see box on page 59). However, from our perspective, the roadmap missed the opportunity to present a more integrated and connected vision of the solutions that are needed to advance on sustainability issues. As a result, the many recommendations appear isolated and run the risk of being considered independently rather than as part of a coherent strategy for sustainable finance.

IDEEA Group encourages those leading this work to highlight the necessity for joined-up, systems thinking to be at the centre of advancing work in this area.