Investors aren’t buying it.
Sustainability, that is.
Even though Sustainability-driven companies can compete and even perform their competitors and return value to their shareholders.
Here’s how BrownFlynn senior consultant Christopher Thomas put it in Greenbiz.com
“The vast majority of investment capital is still directed to assets judged best to deliver risk-adjusted appreciation rapidly with little direct concern for the environmental and social impacts core to the CDP and other ESG disclosures. “
Allow me to translate.
Most investment money gets placed on bets that deliver short-term monetary gains. Without concern for how a company hurts the planet or people.
That’s a problem. Because we need the investor community to start pouring money–on a global scale–into Sustainability-minded companies so that environmental and energy solutions get to scale.
Here’s the full article via Greenbiz.com:
Taken at face value, more evidence surfaced this month supporting a close relationship between company market performance and the disclosure of environmental, social and governance criteria. Less clear is when more investors will reward ESG disclosure and inspire nondisclosing companies to get on board.
The sky’s not entirely bleak, though. I see breaks in the clouds from maturing and incipient reporting structures (CDP & GRI & SASB), disclosure requirements and shareholder involvement.
A few to check out:
ProxyPreview: Helping Shareholders Vote Their Values
Ceres: 2013 Shareholder Resolutions
I believe that the investor community can be encouraged to shift the status quo of short-term gains towards a longer-term Sustainability-driven approach. I take heart from the growing evidence that pressure–positive or otherwise–from shareholder resolutions concerned with climate change and energy gets results.
I just hope the shift happens soon enough to make a difference.