In a sign of the maturation of the sustainable investment industry greenwashing is moving up the agenda, with recent studies across developed markets highlighting this as a top risk identified by investment professionals for 2022. Yet, even if stricter regulations are now in place in Europe and if new accounting standards are planned, it is essential that the players in the industry discipline themselves to fight against this scourge. The very legitimacy of sustainable investment is at stake.
While global leaders convened in Glasgow to achieve a low-carbon future, we can reflect on a very different picture in current energy markets.
While the financial sector is often accused of greenwashing, it is important to remember that responsible investments can only be made with truly sustainable companies. This is why sustainability reporting standards for companies are essential.
The fourth Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study, jointly prepared by Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) and the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at the University of Zurich, was released this week. The aim of this study is to give an in-depth overview into the dynamics of sustainable investments in Switzerland, pointing out the new trends and identifying where challenges and opportunities may lie ahead for investors.
Our 2020 Annual Sustainability Report is out!
2020 was a key year for responsible investing and ESG funds. As the pandemic raged for most of the year and investors remained cautious, sustainable investing became mainstream as it managed to grow by over 50% in an otherwise subdued fund market.Read more
Sustainable investing, considered a niche investment option just a few years ago, is now a key component of a balanced investment strategy for a wide range of investors. The COVID crisis, rather than deprioritise responsible investment, has helped accelerate its development and push sustainability to the forefront. Recent figures from Morningstar track this accelerated growth, highlighting its concentration in Europe as well as the future opportunity elsewhere.
The retail industry and its supply chain are not without controversies and challenges for sustainable investors and consumers alike. As with other industries, retailers are facing increasing pressure to take responsibility for their footprints and what happens in their supply chains: the environmental impacts of their materials, the human rights and labour standards in the workhouses of their suppliers, and how the concept of fast fashion fits into a circular economy.
The election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States is a relief for those involved in sustainability. From an environmental perspective simply a return to science-based policy making will be hugely welcome. Biden plans to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement on day one of his presidency, and despite potentially not having control of the Senate he should be able to proceed with many of his green goals; a task force put together during the campaign identified 56 policy moves on climate and energy that do not need help from Congress.
Last month was the 50th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s influential report titled ‘The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits’, a mantra often heralded as the basis of the capitalist model used globally since, and now quite widely criticised as a cause of social inequalities and environmental externalities. The concept, as we are all aware of, was that business leaders should focus on creating as much value as possible for the owners of the company rather than on improving outcomes for a broader set of stakeholders.
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