ESG investing

Thought it might be useful to have a thread on the wider themes of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing. Any interesting articles, analysis, thoughts, challenges to the prevailing wisdom…

As the mass of data accumulated, it revealed something surprising. Companies that responded to the pandemic by hiring staff rather than shedding workers saw an average 18% increase in their share price relative to their peers in the first six months of the year; those that offered financial help to employees did about 5% better. And the stock prices of companies that closed stores and laid off people trailed those of their peers by 10% or more.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-24/markets-reward-companies-that-treat-workers-well-in-a-pandemic

ESG at Morningstar, lots of links to ESG related articles
https://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/topics/172495/theme/esg.aspx

Blackrock:

Our view: Companies with strong profiles on material sustainability issues have potential to outperform those with poor profiles. In particular, we believe companies managed with a focus on sustainability should be better positioned versus their less sustainable peers to weather adverse conditions while still benefiting from positive market environments.
https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/about-us/sustainability-resilience-research

The Responsibility100 Index

A ranking of the FTSE 100 companies on their commitment to key social, environmental and ethical objectives, inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals
https://www.tortoisemedia.com/intelligence/responsibility

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I’m all for responsible investing and make various efforts to align my investing with my principles. ESG in and of itself has some ways to go still, as the Boohoo scandal demonstrates:

“Why did so many ESG funds back Boohoo? High rating given to fast-fashion retailer by MSCI puts sustainable investment scoring systems under scrutiny”
https://www.ft.com/content/ead7daea-0457-4a0d-9175-93452f0878ec

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