Doing Well and Doing Good
Investing with consideration for Environmental, Social, and Governance factors does not mean giving up return. Companies who pay attention to environmental, social, and governance factors can better manage risk which positively impacts their bottom line. 80 % of CEOs view sustainability as a way to gain competitive advantage.
Traditionally, the idea of social responsibility through investing meant removing specific products, giving up returns, and taking a more values based approach. Social responsibility has evolved. Now doing good doesn't mean sacrificing shareholder value, in fact it is quite the opposite. The traditional way of investing is changing and a new philosophy is emerging: Can you really do well while doing good?
It is no mystery that the impact of climate change is affecting us now more than ever. According to USSIF, carbon emissions are the number one issue of interest driving ESG investing. 2020 has also put the spotlight on social inequalities. The social component of ESG helps an investor express a preference for companies who positively impact the communities they operate in and maintain safe and inclusive work environments. A company's board and C suite have the power to influence these decisions. The idea of "Governance" considers conflicts of interest in executive compensation and board structure. An accountable board has proven to be a more productive one.
What about doing well? Companies who pay attention to ESG issues can not only have a positive impact, but can also boost shareholder value. A few examples of that value is found in more effective risk management, reduced regulatory intervention, and resource efficiency. By incorporating ESG issues into a sustainability framework corporations will ultimately be able to improve performance over the long-term.
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