A Year Like No Other – Our thoughts

For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,

And the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Rudyard Kipling – Jungle Book

A year like no other, indeed

When we first published the SII Digest and Podcast we could not have known the pivotal year we were about to experience.  It turns out we had plenty to talk about. The amalgamation of environmental, social, and corporate governance events has been truly epic. We could not be prouder of how our team took on the challenge.

Covid-19 continues as a backdrop of course. Many of the companies that are helping us to endure through both the pandemic and the fight against climate change seem to score higher on the ESG scale – and now, with more confidence, we see the values of their stocks reflecting this potential. There seems to be little doubt within the professional investment world that sustainability and social responsibility must be taken into consideration.

This edition focuses on the whole of this past year. What have we learned?   How far have we come?   What do we see ahead? In our SPOTLIGHT ON section, we asked experts from the industry to weigh-in on these questions.

The SII PODCAST hosted by Pat O’Neill, is a retrospective of the previous podcasts our first season – all 9 of them. This episode, our 10th, recalls some of the most interesting contributions from our amazing guests, a real treasure of information. Many thanks to Sureita Hockley, who expertly produces these podcasts and Paul Ellis who takes on the responsibility of sourcing our experts. The PODCAST team comes together in a roundtable style for a very informative session.

Originally, we thought it would be helpful to amplify all the smarts around environmentally and socially conscious investing. Our mission continues to make socially responsible investing more user friendly and actionable. We will continue down that path as we move into our next season.

We see the world coming together over this time with more of a shared purpose and clarity around ESG. The “pack” is getting stronger and that should be inspiring to us all.

A Year Like No Other – What have we learned? How far have we come? What do we see ahead?

We reached out to leading experts in the ESG investing industry to find out their responses, and this is what we found…

QUESTIONA Year Like No Other – What have we learned? How far have we come? What do we see ahead?

ANSWERCarolyn Eagle, Senior Product Manager, Sustainable Investment at FTSE Russell

ANSWERWhen the United States reentered the Paris Agreement, it signaled its commitment to the global decarbonization of the economy – net zero – by the middle of this century. But large institutional investors, most of whom are broadly invested across the entire economy, are left to determine how their portfolios can reach net zero by 2050. We’ve found that many large investors cannot simply divest from oil and gas companies – and some may not be willing to. Instead, their challenge becomes determining which companies – across all sectors – are most prepared for the transition to a decarbonized world.

QUESTIONA Year Like No Other – What have we learned? How far have we come? What do we see ahead?

ANSWERGwen Le Berre, Director of Responsible Investing at Parametric Portfolio Associates

ANSWERWhile some feared that ESG was going to be sidelined by the pandemic, we experienced the exact opposite with investors better appreciating the impact that systematic ESG risks can have on the entire market. With a renewed 2020 focus on diversity, inequality, and climate change, we are continuing to see investor interest go beyond equities and into the fixed income and liquid alternatives space.

QUESTIONA Year Like No Other – What have we learned? How far have we come? What do we see ahead?

ANSWERAlexeyErmakov – Impact driven entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Impala Hub

ANSWERWhat have we learned? Clearly, it may take a bit of time for a widely accepted and globally recognized impact measurement framework to be developed, evidence and verification of impact serve well when assessing impact opportunities.

ANSWERHow far have we come? Both conventional and unconventional financial players are more committed than ever to provide “responsible” capital and are on active search for new emerging opportunities with impact-driven activity/business. Yet exposure of micro, small and medium impact-driven enterprises remains limited and fragmented.

QUESTIONA Year Like No Other – What have we learned? How far have we come? What do we see ahead?

ANSWERNimet Vural – Business Student, Bogazici University; Istanbul, Turkey

ANSWERAs far as I know, the impact of Covid-19 in 2020 jeopardizes the progress of the 2030 agenda for UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Before the current crisis, Less Developed Countries (LDCs) were struggling to achieve the SDGs. The Socio-Economic impacts of the Covid-19 require an ever more forward-looking perspective to build a better and greener future.

ANSWERMeeting the UNSDGs financing objectives will require a coordinated, many-sided, response and the use of innovative tools and risk mitigation instruments. Blended finance can help to catalyze much needed additional resources for SDG-aligned projects that private investors would otherwise overlook. Blended Finance can leverage digital technologies, finance the ‘missing middle’ gap, and address market failures that prevent LDCs from financing their development needs and reaching the most vulnerable populations.

ANSWERThe latest data shows that too little private finance is mobilised for investment in LDCs. A decline due to the global economic recession and less public revenues risks endangering gains and beneficial trends that have been made in the past few years.

QUESTIONA Year Like No Other – What have we learned? How far have we come? What do we see ahead?

ANSWERSarmad Kashan ali- Pharm.d (Doctor of pharmacy) MBA

ANSWERI believe that the impact of covid.19 on the global economy, as well as environmental and sustainability related issues, are viewed in a similar perspective by the decision makers and provide insight and opportunities in this year like no other. In ESG Investing we have to focus more on green bonds, which provide the opportunity to invest in a lower risk instrument with a constructive purpose of creating good in the society. Companies, governments, and municipalities can develop a competitive edge and raise much-needed capital. Key investments should be in renewable energy, green buildings (energy-efficient buildings), water investments, agriculture investments, (Biofuel), and technology projects such as the use of broadband and its potential to reduce emissions.

ANSWERAll stakeholders should understand and folloow the EU taxonomy governed by universal rules and regulations for all countries. Violation of these regulations should require heavy fines to be paid to global environmental funds. Together we can conserve the resources for our future generations in order to make Earth a better place to live.