This is my fist interaction in the community, and I’m so happy I get to do it on socially responsible investing!
I gotta be honest, I don’t have a portfolio. Evarvest is my start . I am, however, very into socially responsible investing, even asked once @StephBrennan in insta.
I actually work as a Sustainability and CSR analyst at a company offering services for supply chain management. And although I don’t work everyday with investing and ESG, I do have a couple of projects on it. So I would like to share some thoughts on this, hope they can be helpful for you!
@MitchKerr: the truth is, there isn’t as much clarity on ESG/impact investing. There are many ratings, popping out since last year even more, with Blackrock putting out their statement on how we gotta all be more responsible towards nature and society. The problem is that we don’t have yet a standardized methodology, and the metrics used are still a bit all over the place (for environmental aspects, some do gross numbers, others indexes, so it can become confusing at time. And when you get to the social aspect, it becomes complicated). However, you can start having a look at RobecoSAM’s Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which is one of the most used when it comes to ESG. Also the Reuters responsible investing section has many good insights and articles to get started.
@StephBrennan, @Magda: Like Magda was saying, it’s always quite a struggle to figure out for many companies what CSR should address. Even at country level, e.g. India has a CSR law, making companies do community involvement activities and dedicate a % of their revenue to that. So we see there loads of actions like building schools, putting lights on the streets, supporting some sport activities, and tons of others. I totally agree with Steph, they’re a significant benefit for a lot of people, but I don’t think they should fall in the realm of Sustainability/CSR, as many times they’re more aimed at PR, or just keeping up the paradigm of “as long as I give some money back to everybody, I’m free of guilt to whatever happens when I make that money”. In any case, even the most advanced companies in terms of ESG ratings aren’t as transparent and certainly ride whatever good practice they have as much as they can, e.g. Unilever comes always on top in these ratings, and it has some really well thought eco products, but they represent only a minor % of their product portfolio. And on the other hand, their products represent a significant % of plastic polluting oceans and rivers. So it’s always tough to get a clearer picture through all the PR.
By the way, Kering has a really interesting sustainability measurement called the EP&L, were they actually put a financial value at the environmental and social aspects throughout their supply chain. It’s an interesting concept!
Anyways, sorry for the looooong post. Hope it was of help. Indeed for ESG investing one has still to dig in deep and there’s not so much clear indicators. But I do believe it’s growing and it will become more relevant, or at least that’s what I’m hoping, as that’s definitely my number 1 decision making tool
I’ll be glad to help as much as I can on this regard if anybody ever has some doubts on this topic, always glad to share!