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Sustainability, ESG, and the Way forward for Investing: A Overview


To mark Enterprising Investor’s tenth anniversary, we now have compiled retrospectives of our protection of probably the most crucial themes in finance and investing during the last decade.


The previous 10 years have witnessed a pointy acceleration within the pattern towards sustainability in funding administration and the embrace of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) elements in monetary evaluation.

Since its launch in 2011, Enterprising Investor has tracked this pattern and supplied funding professionals with crucial insights into the developments shaping the sustainability of investing.

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ESG investing has existed in a single type or one other for a lot of the final 75 years, but it’s only during the last decade that it has reached a crucial mass.

This growth displays a confluence of things. Chief amongst them is larger demand from finish traders — together with institutional asset house owners and retail traders — for funding merchandise and options that take account of ESG dangers and alternatives. Traders have additionally expressed a want for investments that align with sure environmental or social targets — so-called non-pecuniary aims. Governments and regulators have additionally exerted strain on the funding trade to contribute towards broader sustainability-oriented coverage targets.

Collectively, these elements have led to speedy development within the growth of ESG-related monetary merchandise. The next chart from Technology Funding Administration’s Sustainability Developments Report 2021 illustrates this sample:


Developments in Sustainability-Associated Finance, 2015–2020

Chart depicting Trends in sustainability-related finance, 2015-2020
Sources: CB Insights; Bloomberg; BNEF; Reuters; FTSE Russell; Technology

ESG protection on Enterprising Investor largely displays these developments. Since EI’s launch within the autumn of 2011, a complete of 220 ESG-related articles have been revealed, three quarters of them since 2016. These posts tackle all method of ESG points, together with accounting and disclosure requirements, the fiduciary responsibility debate, the connection between ESG and funding efficiency, thematic investing, water high quality and human rights points, gender lens investing, and plenty of extra.


ESG-Centered Articles from Enterprising Investor, By 12 months

Chart depicting ESG-Focused Articles on Enterprising Investor, By Year
Supply: Enterprising Investor

What follows is a hand-picked number of probably the most pertinent insights and thought-provoking commentary on all issues ESG over this era. We showcase the important thing sustainability points by way of the views of each ESG proponents and critics. The gathering supplies a captivating window into the ESG debate and orients readers in direction of the emergent sustainability pattern and its implications for the way forward for investing.

A Framework to Drive ESG Monetary Self-discipline

Kevin Prall, CFA, outlines a structural basis for analyzing how ESG impacts intangible asset worth creation and discusses how a give attention to intangible worth creation can carry extra monetary self-discipline to ESG investments.

ESG Issues: International Developments and Transitions

Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA, and Barbara Stewart, CFA, focus on sustainability and the rising significance of ladies within the funding ecosystem, with an emphasis on the Nordic perspective.

The ESG Efficiency Paradox

Jordan N. Boslego, CFA, states that with out robust fiduciary requirements, ESG could turn into an excuse for fund managers to underperform and cost greater charges.

Tile for The Future of Sustainability in Investment Management

Thematic Investing: Thematically Mistaken?

Nicolas Rabener examines the deserves of thematic investing and the way its efficiency compares in opposition to established benchmarks. He concludes that, “ESG and related themes are types of investing based mostly on private desire. They could come at a price, however they obtain some non-financial aims.”

The ESG Debate Heats Up: 4 Extra Challenges

What are the primary areas of concern within the ESG world? Christopher Okay. Merker, PhD, CFA, examines the challenges round requirements, greenwashing in funding merchandise, and the urgency of local weather change.

ESG Investing: Can You Have Your Cake and Eat It Too?

Do corporations with excessive ESG scores outperform their lower-ranked counterparts? Gautam Dhingra, PhD, CFA, and Christopher J. Olson, CFA, share their evaluation.

ESG Investing: Too Good to Be True?

The notion that corporations that care in regards to the surroundings, take care of their workers, and exhibit good governance outperform is probably going a mirage, says Nicolas Rabener.

Past Carbon: Water Dangers and Sustainable Investing

The water disaster in Cape City, South Africa, demonstrates that carbon emissions and local weather change aren’t the one sustainability threats, says Monika Freyman, CFA. Water considerations already have an effect on traders’ backside strains in addition to future dangers to their high strains.

Financial Analysts Journal Current Issue Tile

Human Rights Points and Your Portfolio: The Dangers and Alternatives

What are the dangers and alternatives related to integrating or failing to combine human rights points into asset allocation issues? Anjali Pradhan, CFA, explores the problem.

Sustainable Investing and Fiduciary Accountability: Battle or Confluence?

Usman Hayat, CFA, interviews David Blood, co-founder of Technology Funding Administration, who surveys the sustainable investing pattern and discusses why sustainability is integral to fiduciary responsibility.

If you happen to favored this publish, don’t neglect to subscribe to the Enterprising Investor.


All posts are the opinion of the creator. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially mirror the views of CFA Institute or the creator’s employer.

Picture credit score: ©Getty Pictures / Bloomberg Artistic


Skilled Studying for CFA Institute Members

CFA Institute members are empowered to self-determine and self-report skilled studying (PL) credit earned, together with content material on Enterprising Investor. Members can document credit simply utilizing their on-line PL tracker.

Rhodri Preece, CFA

Rhodri Preece, CFA, is Senior Head, Analysis for CFA Institute and is chargeable for main the group’s world analysis actions and publications, managing the analysis employees, and collaborating with main funding practitioners and lecturers. CFA Institute produces the highest-caliber analysis on points and matters most related to the funding trade, together with rigorous in-depth analysis, forward-looking thought management content material, utilized funding insights, and commentary on trending funding matters. Preece beforehand served as head of capital markets coverage EMEA at CFA Institute, the place he was chargeable for main capital markets coverage actions within the Europe, Center East, and Africa area, together with content material growth and coverage engagement. Preece is a present member of the PRI Tutorial Community Advisory Committee, and a former member, from 2014 to 2018, of the Group of Financial Advisers of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Committee on Financial and Markets Evaluation. Previous to becoming a member of CFA Institute, Preece was a supervisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP within the funding funds group from 2002 to 2008. He has a BSc and a MSc in Economics and is a CFA charterholder since 2006.

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