Sustainable investing is a term in some ways interchangeable with others such as socially responsible investing, socially conscious, green, ethical or ESG investing. Although each of these terms has variations in meaning, the common thread is a is a two-tiered process of selecting investments: traditional financial factors are combined with social factors. Today there is a broad spectrum of choice for investors. From portfolios that completely exclude certain industries and companies, to those that apply social criteria as a means for finding potentially better-run companies.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is the most common approach to sustainable investing today, integrating these three factors into portfolio construction. There is growing evidence that incorporating these factors can help identify companies with superior business models and mainstream investors have started to adopt this measure. In fact, Morningstar (an investment research company offering mutual fund, ETF, and stock analysis, ratings, and data) now provides an ESG rating for each of the investments they research, including those with ESG mandates and those without.
Our clients’ portfolios vary with what is important to them. Some clients overweight companies with strong records. Others want to leverage the power of their assets to create positive social change. They want their asset manager to partake in shareholder advocacy, which includes proxy voting, corporate engagement and the influencing of public policy.
Doesn’t it just make sense that a company with a long-range vision, that sees the value of a diverse leadership team, that respects its customers, its workforce and the planet is a company worth considering for your portfolio?
The returns of ESG investing may be lower than if the adviser made decisions based solely on investment considerations. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.