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Coronavirus can shake up ESG investing

The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the degree of economic inequality in America. While America’s white-collar workers juggle Zoom calls and child care, low-wage earners must either risk infection delivering essential services or find themselves unable to afford rent and other necessities for their families. But even before millions lost their jobs and snaking lines formed outside

5 Top Sustainability Trends Impacting Businesses

For companies today, it is no longer enough to focus only on delivering profits and creating value for shareholders. They also need to show that they are making a difference to the environment and society. As demand for businesses to demonstrate their sustainability credentials grows, companies are being held accountable by consumers, investors, regulators and

Developing countries can respond to COVID-19 in ways that are swift, at scale, and successful

The COVID-19 crisis presents the world with a huge challenge: Everyone and everything is affected, and the response has to be both quick and global. While it is first and foremost a health crisis, it is also an education crisis, an employment and economic crisis, a crisis of hunger and a poverty and, in some

Top Tips for Getting a Job in Impact Investment

Impact investment is the fastest growing sector of the financial industry. In a 2019 deal that signalled the scale and potential of the sector’s future, the British asset manager, Schroders (with over $400 billion of assets under management) acquired a majority stake in BlueOrchard. Schroders’ CEO, Peter Harrison, commented that impact investment is a “mega-trend”.​

A tightrope walk ahead for corporate sustainability managers

Amidst numerous uncertainties surrounding post-COVID corporate climate, one thing is certain: Sustainability managers will face multifaceted challenges. Many could face budget cuts, even as their stakeholders expect them to ramp up sustainability efforts and seize this unique "opportunity" to initiate fundamental corporate transformations. Many may find their companies’ post COVID-19 business strategies are no longer

Sustainable funds are outperforming their peers during the pandemic

Investors have been “doubling down” on sustainability over the last quarter — and sustainable funds have actually outperformed the broader market, according to Gabriel Wilson-Otto, head of stewardship, Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Asset Management. This was unlike historical precedents of people shifting their focus from sustainability to near-term profits in tough times, he added.

Is sustainability undergoing a pandemic pause?

If you were to believe the mainstream business media, there would be no question whatsoever that the twin crises of a pandemic and a recession have pretty much put the kibosh on sustainable business activity. I mean, why, amid all this human and economic carnage, should companies be focused on anything besides keeping their doors

‘Greenwashing’ potential tarnishes growth

With sustainable investment funds accounting for as much as 1 in 4 institutional dollars under management, it raises the question of how much is real progress vs. mere marketing. The growth has been nothing short of astounding. Assets managed under ESG principles reached $14.6 trillion in 2019, a 168.1% increase from $5.4 trillion in 2016,

The Path To The Covid Recovery Is Paved With Renewable Energy

Harish Hande is an engineer and social entrepreneur working with underserved communities. He is the co-founder of SELCO whose interventions have impacted more than 800,000 poor households across 6 Indian states. We caught up with him a couple of weeks ago to reflect on the relevance of sustainable energy during the Covid pandemic and after.

What To Make Of The SEC’s Warnings And Recommendations For ESG Investing

May has been a busy month for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings and disclosure at the US asset management industry’s top regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  between Chairman Jay Clayton's warning yesterday on ESG ratings and a recommendation earlier this month for ESG disclosures. This is due in part to the growth in

Uber just decided to scrap tens of thousands of electric scooters and bikes

In the last few years, micromobility has taken transportation by storm. A flurry of scooter companies, including Lime, Bird, and Jump rose quickly to prominence. They sold an ambitious dream to make last-mile transportation environmentally sustainable, affordable, and efficient. That dream we bought. From college towns to major cities, rentable electric bikes and scooters have

10 sustainability myths busted, and six things you can do to make a real difference

'It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little — do what you can,’ wrote Sydney Smith some two centuries ago, but his words are the perfect reason why we should all do what we can to save the planet. The problem is that it's hard to

Man vs. machine: A tale of two sustainability ratings systems

On May 11, 1997, globally acclaimed chess master Garry Kasparov battled IBM’s Big Blue supercomputer in the most widely watched chess match. The BBC reported that the match between man and machine had "suspense beyond anything the world had ever known," and was a test of whether the IBM team could teach the machine to

Time to practice ‘Social Investing’ for your portfolio in times of COVID-19

As the world fights the battle against COVID-19, one term that is making a buzz is Social Distancing. Social distancing is indeed overwhelming for a generation that is constantly socialising either in person or through apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In this lockdown period, some are getting bored, some are finding it a

Consumers see tech innovation as critical for future sustainability

From governments and businesses, to millions of school children going on strike as part of Fridays for Future - the question of how to lead more sustainable lives has become more prevalent across society. But where do everyday consumers stand in this? Do their habits and actions reflect their perceptions? And do they consider ICT

Responsible investors face limited universe of companies meeting UN SDGs

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are increasingly becoming a benchmark for asset managers interested in responsible investing, but analysis reveals very few companies are contributing to these standards. ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services, recently rated a universe of more than 6,500 companies and revealed that only 3% of these delivered

The SEED Model for Business – for a time of healing and growth

By Elizabeth Clark. Just over a year ago I went to an International Women’s Day event in Frome, Somerset.   The key speaker was Lynne Franks, OBE, who spoke about her life as a business entrepreneur and her beliefs about enabling others to cultivate their own work opportunities.  Currently she has a base in Wincanton, Somerset,

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World health leaders urge green recovery from coronavirus crisis

Doctors and medical professionals from around the globe have called on world leaders to ensure a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis that takes account of air pollution and climate breakdown. More than 200 organisations representing at least 40 million health workers – making up about half of the global medical workforce – have signed an

The social enterprise at work: Paradox as a path forward

With COVID-19 creating urgency around workforce reinvention, it’s clear that while organizations have doubled down on investments in technology over the past decade, many have significantly underinvested in how humans could adapt to and embrace new ways of working. Only 17% of respondents are making significant investments in reskilling to support their AI strategy with