As corporate responsibility continues to mature, one of the key shifts we’ve seen in recent years is a move toward “values.” A company’s approach to impact is a reflection of that company’s values — and the values of its customers, employees and (increasingly) investors. It’s a shift that has been accelerated by the current political climate, in which companies have had to publicly stand up — both individually and collaboratively — for values like inclusion, empathy and environmental preservation in the face of questionable policy decisions. The result? Responsibility, humanity and impact are now more entrenched than ever in the corporate sector — and I am confident that this is not a passing trend.
Investor interest in ESG will continue to swell.
Investor interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors has gone mainstream, and the experts we spoke with believe this trend will continue into 2019 (and beyond), with socially responsible investing gradually becoming the new normal.
Tim Mohin, Chief Executive of the Global Reporting Index (GRI), explained: “In the past decade there has been a tremendous upswing in interest coming from the financial sector. With over 90% of the largest companies now filing sustainability reports (85% of the S&P 500), the data is plentiful. But that is not new. What is new is the interest in using the information for investment decisions. A recent study from Oxford University found that more than 80% of mainstream investors now consider ‘ESG’ – environmental, social and governance – information when making investment decisions. And the numbers are compelling – globally, there are now $22.89 trillion of assets being professionally managed under responsible investment strategies, an increase of 25 percent since 2014. This number is so large it needs context – it exceeds the GDP of the entire US economy.”