Lisa was the CEO of US SIF (the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment) and the US SIF Foundation from 2006 to February 2023. Members of US SIF represent about $5T in Assets under Management. In this episode, we discuss the politicization of sustainable investment, long term trends in the field and much more.
Sustainable investment has gone from a 'Narrative Phase' with an emphasis on story-telling to a more regulatory phase in the past 15-20 years. The field is being regulated which demonstrates recognition of the growth in relevance of sustainable investment as a field.
It almost feels like 'back to the future' when it comes to discussions regarding materiality. Are we talking about risks/opportunities to companies themselves? Is that sufficient? Or do we have to be looking at that as well as the impact of companies on society? This will be a core trend in the coming years as investors grapple with these questions.
Finance Education Required
High schools need to provide finance training. With a more financially astute populace, individuals will make better assessments of options available to them (including sustainable options). This will mostly be through their pensions.
Investors should influence policy
Policy makers aren't saying 'don't worry, sustainable investors will solve it'. At a policy-level you can influence systemic challenges like climate change or minimum wages so that you can do more for people and planet while being competitive.
ESG push back tied to fossil fuel interests
Push back to the ESG field has ties to the Fossil fuel industry. Leaders can speak facts in a calm way, point to the need for good data and solid investment process. With ESG information, we will all know more which is a good thing.