As Summer 2020 Nears End in Northern Hemisphere – Quo Vadis, Corporate Sustainability and ESG/Sustainable Investing?




 

As Summer 2020 Nears End in Northern Hemisphere – Quo Vadis, Corporate Sustainability and ESG/Sustainable Investing?

This has been a strange summer in the northern climes, as the corporate sector and capital markets players meet the challenges of the corona virus, economic downturn, and civil protests. 

In times of crises (and we have at least three major crisis situations occurring all at once to deal with this summer) certain actions may take a back seat.  Not so with forward movement of corporate sustainability and ESG/sustainable investing in summer 2020.

We bring you brief updates on some of these trends that continue to shape the interactions of companies and their providers of capital. 

First -- worldwide, ESG/sustainable investing index funds reach a record of US$250 billion, with the crises appearing to accelerate investors’ moves into these passive and actively managed investment instruments. 

Consider:

  • Before COVID-19, sustainability funds were already experiencing major growth, with assets doubling over the past three years.
  • Actively managed ESG funds continue to attract the lion’s share of dollars and represent a much larger portion of the sustainable investing landscape. Combined inflows into both active and passive ESG-focused funds reached $71.1 billion during the second quarter -- pushing global AUM above the $1 trillion mark for the first time.
  • In the USA, sustainable index funds still make up less than 1% of the market – lots of room for growth here!
  • According to a recent survey conducted by Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing, nearly 95% of millennials are interested in sustainable investing, while 75% believe that their investment decisions could impact climate change policy.

On the corporate sustainability side, Goldman Sachs reports that oil & gas enterprises could lead the way into a lower-carbon economy. Maybe. The sector’s leading equities players lumped in value, and there are many challenges still ahead – but, says a Goldman Sachs report, a new EU rule in 2021 could accelerate the oil & gas companies’ shift into more sustainable activities.  The leaders can leverage their brands and trading capabilities to acquire power customers, thinks GS analysts. 

And the “octopus” that many retailers see encircling their businesses, Amazon, is pushing ahead with The Climate Pledge (founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in September 201) with an important commitment:  meeting the Paris Agreement goals a decade early!  Mercedes-Benz is the latest signatory to the pledge.  And look at what these moves mean in practical business terms:  Amazon will add 1,800 electric Mercedes-Benz vans to its delivery fleet in Europe in 2020!  Other big-name corporate signatories include Verizon, Infosys, and Reckitt Benckiser.

Not quite a quiet summer in the corporate sector and capital markets, we would say!  On to Fall now in the Northern climes and a most welcome Spring season in the Southern Hemisphere, 2020 into 2021.

These are the Top Stories picks for you this week – and there are important items in the categories as well.  Happy Autumn and Spring, wherever you are  from the G&A Institute team. 

 

Top Stories

 

Sustainability Standard Setters & Policy Makers
SEC, SASB, GRI, IIRC, FSB-TCFD

MORE Sustainability Standard Setters & Policy Makers

 

ESG / Sustainable & Responsible Investment
Asset Owners & Managers, Ratings Agencies

MORE ESG / Sustainable & Responsible Investment

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Corporate Sustainability / ESG
Disclosure, Reporting, Corporate Initiatives

MORE Corporate Sustainability / ESG

 

Stakeholders That Matter
Developments, Trends, Corporate Actions Affecting Stakeholders

MORE Stakeholders That Matter


Sustainability Data in Focus
Developments in Data, Research Trends

MORE Sustainability Data That Matters


Global Sustainability : Forward Momentum!

News & Developments of Note

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The Sustainability Highlights eNewsletter is prepared by Governance & Accountability Instittute, Inc. based on continuous monitoring of trends and developments in Sustainability and ESG. Copyrights for other providers are noted where appropriate. Please credit the source if quoted. Content © 2009 - 2020 - All Rights Reserved.

Governance & Accountability Instiute is the "Sustainability Headquarters™" for clients in the corporate, investment, public and social sectors. Based in New York, G&A is a for-profit consulting organization providing a range of value-added strategies, services and resources related to ESG & sustainability to clients in the corporate and capital markets communities. For G&A's full range of services, click on each of the links: Sustainability / ESG Consulting Services, Communications & Recognition Services, Investor Relation Services. For more information, visit www.ga-institute.com or contact us at 646.430.8230 or info@ga-institute.com.