White Paper

Balancing Act: Learning from the Best and the Worst of Times for ESG

David Schofield President, International
Vassilios Papathanakos, PhD Distinguished Researcher

Key Ideas

  • After a period of steadily increasing relevance, ESG investing attracted a lot of attention in 2021.
  • This trend was temporarily challenged in Q1, as ESG bêtes noires, such as energy stocks, dominated the markets.
  • ESG investing is a compelling long-term discipline, and both the superficially good and superficially bad periods offer valuable lessons on how to implement it optimally.

The Best of Times

As the world continues to experience the undeniable effects of rising global temperatures, governments and company stakeholders have slowly begun to address climate change. The Paris Agreement of 2016 established a worldwide framework aimed at keeping the average global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Since then, much of the globe has moved from seeing sustainable investing as a grand idea to seeing it as a compelling reality — one that affects all of us.