In one year, nearly 500 financial products received the “Towards Sustainability” label

30 October 2022 - 4 min Reading time

The Towards Sustainability initiative was launched in February 2019 at the initiative of Febelfin, in consultation with stakeholders within and outside the financial sector.

  • In November 2020, the sustainability label 'Towards Sustainability' will exist for one year.
  • In one year, almost 500 investment, savings and insurance products were awarded the label. This makes Towards Sustainability the most complete label in the EU in terms of product range.
  • An amount of 245 billion euros is managed according to the criteria of the quality standard represented by the label.
  • Investors can find all information about the labeled products on the Towards Sustainability website.
  • The quality standard is currently being revised and refined. The updated version will be published in March 2021.

The aim was firstly to lay down minimum requirements for sustainable financial products in a quality standard and secondly to give investors a tool, namely the label, to guide them in their search for sustainable products.

The first labels were awarded in November 2019 by the independent label agency CLA (Central Labeling Agency) to products that met the quality standard.

Thanks to its success, the label has become a market standard


In November 2020, one year after the first label awards, 494 financial products carry the label. They represent an amount of EUR 245 billion, which is managed according to the criteria of the quality standard.

More than 75 financial institutions from more than 10 countries are currently involved in the Towards Sustainability initiative. This makes it the most comprehensive and most inclusive labeling initiative for financial products in Europe.

Both products under Belgian law (35%) and products under foreign law (65%) have received the label.

Clarity for the investor remains the label's priority


Creating clarity for the investor remains one of the label's main drivers. When a financial product carries the Towards Sustainability label, investors can be sure that it meets a number of well-defined minimum sustainability criteria. There are also sustainable investment products on the market that do not carry the label, which can lead to confusion among retail investors.

To avoid this, some financial institutions commit themselves to only include products that have received the label in their sustainable Belgian offer. You can see which institutions these are on the Towards Sustainability website.

Tot nu toe zijn er 11 ondertekenaars: Belfius Investment Partners, BNP Paribas AM Belgium, Candriam Belgium, Capital at Work Foyer Group, DNCA Investments, Funds for Good, Incofin Investment Management, KBC Group, NN Investment Partners, Sycomore AM en Van Lanschot Belgium.

Each labeled product also has its own page. Various sustainability indicators are discussed. As a result, investors immediately know where the investment product is sustainable, while they always have the general certainty that the product meets the minimum requirement. This information enables investors to verify in detail whether a particular product meets their specific personal expectations.

The future of the label: a continuous process


The Towards Sustainability label continues to evolve. The aim of the initiative is to include sustainability principles in all financial products and to contribute to the structural integration of sustainability in all financing decisions of the financial sector.

The quality standard is therefore a dynamic and continuous process. It is intended not to be a static standard, but to evolve to continue to reflect consumer expectations, societal needs, scientific research, data availability and new regulatory initiatives such as taxonomy and information publishing on sustainability from the European Commission.

That is why the standard is reviewed and updated every two years. The first version was released in February 2019. The next publication is expected in March 2021. The review process is currently underway, thanks in part to the results of a public consultation launched in September and October 2020 by the independent labeling agency CLA.