Switzerland has become the latest country to put words into action working towards more sustainable finance. During the Point Zero Forum in Zurich, the three-day event connecting policy with technology, the new Swiss Green Fintech Network (GFN) was launched, aiming to boost the green digital finance ecosystem.
The Green Fintech Network is a collective of green fintech startups, prominent data providers, academic institutions, and professional service firms. Not only does it aims to boost the green digital finance ecosystem in Switzerland, but it is also looking to drive the country’s goal to achieve a global leadership role in sustainable finance.
A dedicated roundtable discussion at the Point Zero Forum, opened by Deputy State Secretary Stefan Flueckiger, GFN’s honorary president, discussed needs, challenges, solutions and options for a thriving green fintech ecosystem. The GFN has evolved from a working group initiated by the Swiss State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF). SIF represents Switzerland’s interests in international financial, tax and monetary matters.
Gerrit Sindermann, president of GFN and deputy executive director of the Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA) said: “It has been very encouraging to see already pre-launch the broad interest and support from key players in the Swiss financial ecosystem. We are committed to collaborating with and complementing existing initiatives, and we considerately designed also our own network as a multistakeholder initiative to ensure comprehensive outcomes for the benefit of the whole ecosystem.”
Creating a forward-looking collective
The Network commits to furthering efficient access to essential sustainability data, ensuring substantial support and funding. It also establishes ties within the domestic and global green fintech landscape. It will act as a dynamic ecosystem partner and platform. Its founding members include
- CLIMADA Technologies
- Open Forest Protocol
- Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA)
- University of Zurich
- ZHAW as a key supporter
Each contributes substantial expertise, commitment, and forward-looking vision to the collective.
Collaborating is key for successful sustainability
Oliver Marchand, head of climate research at MSCI, and an esteemed pioneer in the green fintech sector with his startup Carbon Delta, says: “This initiative has the potential to help create a global hub for green fintech. Especially as many more companies are following in the footsteps of Carbon Delta, as we grew and eventually were successfully integrated into MSCI. It can give fintechs the best chance of achieving their goals through expert support and industry collaboration.”
Gwen Jettain, vice president of GFN, Co-Founder of Pelt8, and 2023 recipient of the Swiss Fintech Awards says: “I have a deep faith in creating cohesive ecosystems. In the context of sustainability, there is little impact we can achieve if we do not collaborate. The Green Fintech Network formalises these intentions by catalysing innovation to create a growing positive impact for businesses, people and the planet.”
Adding new green perspectives
The Network has already established regular exchanges with key platforms within the Swiss financial industry and startup ecosystem. Examples include the Swiss Banking Association (SBA) and Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF). It also aims to add a unique green fintech perspective to complement organisations. Such as: Swiss Fintech, Swiss Fintech Innovations, and Sustainable Finance Geneva.
Simone Thompson, co-founder of CLIMADA Technologies, a startup focused on climate risk modelling, says: “Having been both a member of the founding team of the Green Fintech network as well as founding an own company concurrently, I am convinced that driving the awareness and understanding of green fintechs in the Swiss market will be key to the successful positioning of Switzerland in this space.”
Frederic Fournier, CEO and co-founder of Open Forest Protocol adds: “Coming together to foster a collaboration towards impact is a must and necessary action, not only to address the pressing issues of our time but to better position and align actors in this sector in Switzerland and beyond.”
Thomas Puschmann, executive director of the Stanford and University of Zurich Global Center for Sustainable Digital Finance, who also serves as a board member and secretary, shares: “Green fintech is an emerging field with most startups at an early stage. It will lead to substantial growth opportunities in finance, energy, mobility, agriculture, and manufacturing and retail supply chains in the next decades.”