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MEXICO - Finance

Mariuz Calvet

Former Director of Sustainable Finance for Mexico and Latin America, HSBC

Bio

Mariuz Calvet holds a degree in law and international relations, with a master’s degree in Latin America. After more than 17 years of work in corporate sustainability, she has specialized in the financial sector, serving as vice president of sustainability at Citibanamex and executive director of sustainability and responsible investment at Grupo Financiero Banorte. She chaired the ESG Committee of the Mexican Stock Exchange and now chairs the new ESG Commission of the Association of Banks of Mexico. Calvet was part of the founding group of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking and Co-Chair of the global working group that created the global nature risk reporting framework, TNFD.

"The world has been working to transition toward sustainable development in terms of people, organizations, communities, and governments."
HSBC always collaborates closely with its clients on the vital issue of sustainability, offering a range of finance products to help clients make the transition.
How well-positioned is Mexico in terms of sustainable finance globally and in Latin America?

The world has been working to transition toward sustainable development in terms of people, organizations, communities, and governments. There is a path set out, namely the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that were launched in 2015, though the major issue is the huge gap of capital and finance for the world to transition to sustainable development. That is what sustainable finance encompasses. The entire region is lagging behind Europe and other countries, though in Mexico, the last three to four years have been essential in growing the sustainable finance ecosystem in the country. The actors are getting together and becoming more organized. Efforts are being aligned to a strategy that is being defined by the regulators from the financial sector in Mexico. There is great momentum, and I believe we will catch up quicker than expected.

What are Mexico’s main areas of opportunities to make this a reality from both the public and private sector?

The financial sector regulator is moving in the right direction, having launched a national Mexican sustainable tax in March. There is a Finance Committee that is directing a national sustainable finance strategy from the government. The private sector, including banks and investors, is aligning itself to best practices; however, there is still a great deal of work to do with SMEs. Such enterprises comprise the majority of Mexico’s GDP and employ most of the people in Mexico; unfortunately, not much efforts have been made to help those companies fully understand the issue of sustainability and why this topic is relevant to their businesses and is not just a topic on the side related to philanthropy or community activities. There is much work to be done around training and capacity building for SMEs. This remains our biggest challenge in Mexico. ESG and sustainability are business issues related to the existence of the business in the long term—it implies how to do things better, how to improve operations, how to be more innovative and competitive, and how to be more attractive to investors. I do consider nearshoring a topic around sustainability. Companies that are not focused on these best practices will not be able to compete into this new world coming into Mexico. This is the core issue: making companies understand that sustainability is imperative.

How can HSBC collaborate with these companies, and where do you first start in terms of providing consultancy on this topic?

As a bank, we talk to all our clients. In what we call “wholesale banking,” which refers to business and corporate banking, we see many differences in terms of how our clients are prepared in terms of their sustainability strategies. We train our entire frontline of banking executives on the sustainability topics related to the clients in the sector they work for. Not every banker will become a sustainability specialist; however, our bankers have the right information to have a deeper dialogue with clients around their sustainability strategies. That is how as a bank we can accompany our clients in their transitions. We have products that are not only focused on credit or lending of finance; we also have an entire range of products on green trade finance, which means working with them on their supply chains, making them more sustainable, and employing all the instruments and products that have been out there in the markets such as green bonds, social bonds, sustainable bonds, and much more. This is how HSBC can transform its clients. When companies begin to understand that they can link their financial needs to their advancements toward a more sustainable business model, this is when the magic happens between a bank and a client. We do not focus on the transaction with the client; we look at forging a long-term relationship with the client because sustainability strategies are here to stay for the long term.

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