As defined by the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), sustainable finance is that which "conditions economic growth towards more humane and balanced development". Sustainable finance can be divided into 3 types:
- Socially Responsible Investment (SRI): investments that use environmental, social and governance criteria as well as strictly economic ones (risk, profitability and liquidity). They also include impact investing, whose purpose is to generate a beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return.
- Ethical banking: banks that carry on their activity following from the outset the criteria of transparency, democracy and sustainability, together with the financial criteria of traditional banking.
- Microfinance: provides basic financial services to groups at risk of financial exclusion (current accounts, debit cards, loans, etc.). The aim is to include these groups in the financial aspects.
In turn, sustainable finance allows the use of different financing products which promote sustainable development:
- Pension and investment funds: investment and savings instruments made up of the assets of a group of individual investors and managed by a management company.
- Green and social bonds: public or private debt issues focused on financing projects with a positive environmental or social impact.
- Social risk capital: investments with sustainability criteria in non-listed companies.
- Microcredits: small loans for entrepreneurship or business development with difficulty in accessing financing, the objective of which is to promote self-employment at the social level.