Most businesses want to see laws enforcing sustainability, according to a survey involving Manx companies.

Deloitte’s second ‘Climate Collective’ event drew discussed sustainable finance regulation and climate action.

The results from Deloitte’s recent Business Sustainability Survey were presented.

The survey, which sought to assess the current state of business sustainability across Isle of Man and Gibraltar showed that 58% of respondents wanted to see mandatory sustainability regulation, and 38% of respondents stated they would like to see some form of voluntary sustainability guidance.

It lumped the Isle of Man and Gibraltar together in the survey because of the company’s own business locations.

It should also be borne in mind that these results were based on only 12 Isle of Man respondents across e-gaming, insurance, investment management, banking, government and legal sectors. So some might question just how representative of the business community it is.

Speakers at Deloitte’s second Climate Collective event included Jess Hodges, investment management and wealth environmental, social, and corporate governance lead partner at Deloitte UK; Michael Crowe, chief executive officer at Finance Isle of Man; Hannah Simons, head of sustainability at Lloyds Bank corporate markets; Steve Hull, climate change finance and business partner, climate change transformation lead at Isle of Man Government and Greg Easton, managing director at Ravenscroft Isle of Man.

Discussions included how the regulatory environment in financial services is undergoing significant changes, with a growing emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices and the issue of ‘greenwashing’ in the financial sector.

According to a press release about the event, ‘organisations are now recognising the need for transparency in investment products, along with the growing importance of developing robust transition plans and managing climate change risks’.

It added that the speakers acknowledged that the intricacies of financial regulation, particularly concerning anti-greenwashing measures and sustainable finance, are increasingly relevant and complex.

This includes the growing consumer interest in sustainability, the challenges in standardising disclosures, and the role of financial institutions in promoting sustainable finance.

Other findings in the survey revealed that many companies have only recently begun to adopt sustainability policies.

Attendees also heard from Mark Cady, chief operating officer at Zurich Insurance in the Isle of Man, who said that since 2019, Zurich Insurance’s local office has implemented various initiatives, including recycling programmes, energy-efficient practices, and solar panel installations, earning recognition for their contributions to sustainability and community involvement.

The firm won sustainable business of the year in the 2023 Media Isle of Man Awards for Excellence for its efforts in combatting climate change.

Charlotte Lewis, advisory lead and director at Deloitte in the Isle of Man, said: ‘The integration of ESG considerations into financial services presents both challenges and opportunities. The importance of clear transition plans, transparency, and responsible stewardship in investment practices cannot be overstated, particularly in the dynamic context of the Isle of Man’s financial sector and how it is impacted from a rapidly evolving international sustainable finance landscape.’

The Deloitte Climate Collective was launched in September 2023 with the goal to address the most pressing sustainability and social challenges facing us today, connecting like-minded individuals and businesses to share knowledge, expertise and resource.

The networking events in the Isle of Man set out to deliver insight and relevant content, time for questions and encourage discussion and debate amongst attendees.