Sophie Robinson-Tillett is a Senior Associate at the University of Oxford, a Contributing Editor at Investment & Pensions Europe, and Founder of Real Economy Progress. She’s the former Editor of Responsible Investor and also worked for the Guardian. Sophie is an award-winning journalist with deep experience covering green finance, responsible investment, ESG, and sustainability. In this episode, we discuss the drivers of major shifts in responsible investment, policy, actions leaders can take to avoid greenwashing, and much more.
ESG became mainstream with 'risk framing'
As soon as financial influencers started framing climate change and ESG through a risk lens, the conversation turned mainstream. Then regulators came in and galvanized the movement.
Divestment debate is recurring but ineffectual
The debate on whether to divest from fossil fuels or engage with fossil fuel companies as shareholders becomes popular every couple of years. If divestment was renamed 'sell it to someone else' it likely wouldn't be as great of a debate. Ultimately divestment has little impact on environmental outcomes.
Attract the right expertise to help your firm avoid greenwashing
Employees who understand regulation, finance, and climate science are required to help companies navigate the net zero journey without greenwashing. It's also important to walk before you run when launching new products or services; we're seeing "best world saving" labels quietly rebranded as "good intention" labels.