From Sibos to the Future

The IPF was invited to attend the 2010 Sibos financial conference in Amsterdam by organizer and long-time partner, SWIFT. A commitment had been taken at the last Sibos event in Hong Kong to make this year’s event as green as possible. The IPF worked closely with SWIFT on this project as part of the continued partnership.

With a record 9,000 attendees, SWIFT also ensured that sustainability was on the agenda, with a paperless conference stand area, as well as actions in recycling and generally reducing the carbon footprint of the event. On the last day, all reusable material and non-perishable goods were collected by SWIFT from all corporate booths to be given to a local charity.

IPF Executive Director Thierry Touchais facilitated a session entitled “Sustainability: Doing Good Is Good For Business”, which, following presentations from Corporate Sustainability managers from some of the world’s leading banks, opened into a discussion about the need to share ideas across the financial industry and even consider standards for future sustainable action at a sectoral level.

Another exercise run throughout the conference was called “Long Now Finance”, which looked at the future of banking up to 2080 from various angles including legal, economic, technical, social and environmental. Mr. Touchais gave a contribution which sparked some interesting dialogue on future scenarios of energy and trading markets. The theme of “Long Now Finance” was further addressed in the closing plenary by leading futurist, Paul Saffo.

The Sibos conference also gave the IPF a chance to present its milestone achievement  – Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Station – and its major new project, the Polaris Climate Change Observatory – to new potential partners. There was also interest in the postcard competition where attendees were given a chance to receive a postcard sent from Antarctica.

“Sibos is a unique open window into the financial community for the IPF, and we are happy to walk with our partner SWIFT down the path to sustainability. Moderating a session with banking and industry leaders, taking part in the launch of an industry-wide seed initiative for sustainable practices, contributing to the ‘Long Now’ of finance sessions, meeting people from many walks of life – all made Sibos a very special event which will continue to help us reach our goals of a zero emission society in the future,” said Thierry Touchais.

Next year’s Sibos will be held in Toronto and there have already been calls for continued discussions on how the finance industry as a whole can look further and start working together for a sustainable future on top of simply profit.