The climate crisis is precipitating a sustainable investment revolution. Investors are putting their money where their mouth is: sustainable funds attracted $13.0 billion in net flows in the first three quarters of 2019. I expect the exponential growth of ESG investing to continue in 2020; and I think three factors largely will drive it.
Companies face expectations to be good stewards of the environment, to treat their workers well and pay them fairly, to encourage diversity, respect human rights, deliver safe and useful products, and behave in an ethical and transparent manner. This requires making decisions through a sustainability lens, which considers all relevant stakeholders.
Responsible Investing has grown from a cottage industry, born from values-based investing, to one that truly is becoming mainstreamed based on material ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) factors that impact value, risk, and return. As this decade comes to a close, let’s take a moment to assess the progress and the way forward.
Over the last decade, issuance of green, social and sustainability bonds have exploded. Over $190 billion in green bonds issued globally this year and another $49 billion in sustainability bonds and social bonds. Markets will continue to grow because both issuers and investors want to make an impact on the world.