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Rocío Eiriz 17 July 2023

Understanding Sustainability Risks and PAIs: How They Reshape Portfolio Management

Sustainability risks and Principal Adverse Impacts (PAIs) are a crucial concept to grasp when thinking about sustainable decision making in investing and portfolio management alike.

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Sustainability risks and Principal Adverse Impacts (PAIs) are a crucial concept to grasp when thinking about sustainable decision making in investing and portfolio management alike.

How might our investments affect the environment around us? 🤔 How might the environment around us affect our investments? 🤔

With the implementation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), these factors have gained greater prominence, calling for increased transparency and reporting. So, what exactly are sustainability risks and PAIs, and how can they reshape portfolio management?

Understanding Sustainability Risks and PAIs

Sustainability Risks and PAIs refer to the negative sustainability impacts which can result from chosen investment decisions whereby the EU has created a monitoring system which includes 64 adverse impact indicators of which 18 are mandatory for reporting. The indicators monitored cover familiar ESG factors such as carbon emissions, waste levels, gender diversity, and exposure to corruption.

Sustainability Risks

Sustainability risks encompass a range of environmental, social, and governance events or conditions that, if they occur, may lead to actual or potential material negative impacts on investment value. Such risks arise from various factors, including but not limited to climate change, pollution, social inequality, labor practices, and governance issues.

For example:

  • A company that engages in unethical labor practices, such as unsafe working conditions, and may face reputational damage and potential legal action.
  • A business in an industry heavily reliant on scarce resources, such as a non-renewable raw material.
  • A business located in an area prone to extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods or earthquakes.


Principal Adverse Impacts (PAIs) refer to the negative consequences caused by financial market players or their financial products on the environment and society. These impacts are measured and disclosed through the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), which establishes standardized policies, procedures, and key performance indicators (KPIs) for defining sustainable investments and combating "greenwashing." Currently, the list encompass a total of 18 mandatory indicators and 46 additional indicators related to environmental and social issues included in the Principal Adverse Impacts (PAIs).

Mandatory PAI indicators include:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Share on non-renewable energy consumption and production
  • Hazardous waste ratio

Voluntary PAI indicators include:

  • Exposure to areas of high water stress
  • Lack of anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies
  • Excessive CEO pay ratio

The Impact on Portfolio Management & Decision Making

By creating standardised and more transparent sustainability disclosures, the hope is that investment managers, investors and companies alike, will lift the bar to drive better sustainability decision making across the board.

By introducing the disclosure of Sustainability Risks (those being the risks that sustainability factors may pose to the value of ones investment), the policy broadens the focus to not only the environment but importantly, ones hip-pocket. For many, these are the push factor needed to drive more sustainable investment choices on mass.

Challenges to Implementing PAIs & Sustainability Risks

Implementing PAIs and addressing sustainability risks present challenges for investors, particularly regarding data collection and analysis. Gathering comprehensive and standardized data on environmental and social impacts can be challenging due to the lack of consistent reporting and varying data quality across different companies and sectors. The process may also become an intense time and resource consuming one due to the evolving nature of these regulations.

FINGREEN AI: Solving ESG Reporting Challenges

FINGREEN AI is an advanced ESG reporting software designed specifically for private market actors. It provides comprehensive solutions to address the challenges associated with sustainability risks and PAIs. Simplifying SFDR reporting compliance for financial actors, FINGREEN AI streamlines the collection and analysis of ESG data, ensuring accurate and efficient reporting.

By gathering and processing ESG data from various sources, FINGREEN AI offers a centralized platform for efficient data management. This ensures that financial actors have access to reliable and up-to-date information. Our platform empowers users to generate customizable reports and analytics, enabling them to assess sustainability risks and PAIs with confidence. This data-driven approach facilitates informed decision-making in portfolio management.

In the era of the SFDR, sustainability risks and Principal Adverse Impacts have become essential considerations for financial actors. Embracing the evolving landscape of sustainable finance and meeting regulatory requirements are paramount. FINGREEN AI, as an ESG reporting software, provides comprehensive solutions to simplify SFDR compliance and facilitates the transition to sustainable investing. By leveraging this technology, financial institutions can navigate the complexities of reporting, contribute to a greener economy, and meet the increasing demand for sustainable investment products.

Understanding and addressing sustainability risks and PAIs not only strengthens portfolio management practices but also promotes a more sustainable and responsible financial ecosystem.