All topics

Best ESG Paper 2020

CFA Institute wins Best ESG Paper 2020

ESG arguably became mainstream in asset management consciousness during 2020. Diversity, gender issues and social inequality topped the news agenda, while climate risk headlines have bookended the year. Perhaps appropriately, the winning paper is from CFA Institute, in which they seek to educate and inform the investment community about climate change, its potential economic impacts and how to incorporate its analysis into the investment process.

best esg paper


Climate Change Analysis in the Investment Process (CFA Institute, 2020)

This report from CFA Institute aims to educate the investment community about the issue of climate change using a variety of methods. Survey data, case studies and other approaches are used to help illustrate and inform the debate. This paper focuses on what climate change is, its potential economic impact, and guidance on best practice when conducting ESG-focused investment analysis. The paper also acts as a handy repository of investor resources relating to wider aspects of climate change.


The Big Green Short (Man Group, 2020)

Man Group's paper argues that the natural evolution for ESG investing is to progress from the exclusion of certain stocks (via negative screening) to outright shorting of so-called bad ESG stocks. It goes on to suggest that the benefits of adopting such an approach may include improved returns, diminished risks and a greater likelihood of fiduciary obligations being observed.

Corporate ESG News and the Stock Market (Amundi, Oct 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

In their paper, Amundi presents a compelling case suggesting that institutional investors consider paying more attention to ESG news and sentiment than they currently do. Intriguingly, the authors find that ESG news appears to affect both best- and worst-scoring ESG companies the most, while increasing portfolio sensitivity exposure to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enhances the performance of long-short ESG portfolios.

AIQ: The climate edition (Aviva Investors, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Aviva Investors' Climate Edition of their 80-page AIQ magazine features a number of climate-related articles. A range of issues are discussed, including why asset managers cannot remain passive on climate change, the concept of stranded assets in the fossil fuel industry, and the pros and cons of taxing carbon emissions. Of note is the section explaining the psychology of climate change.

Circular Economy: Paradise restored? (Candriam, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Candriam's paper about the circular economy begins with an example of where the linear or so-called take-make-waste economy has brought economic and ecological disaster to Nauru, a once prosperous Pacific island. The paper moves on to explain the circular economy via a range of case studies and illustrations, and how its practical implementation may have profound and profitable implications for investors.

Finding the Greenest Generation: ESG views across the generations (LGIM, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States and Canada

LGIM's report details results of an extensive survey of DC savers across three generations to see how attitudes towards ESG issues differ between ages, and whether generational chasms in attitude have opened between Boomers, Gen X and Millennials. Such informative findings, segregated by generation, may help those designing new products or seeking ways in which to better engage with their savers.

Guide to Responsible Investment in Private Equity for LPs (PRI, 2020)

This guide from PRI is designed to assist investors in private equity general partnerships better understand why they should consider integrating ESG factors into private equity investments. They explore how ESG can be successfully integrated into the investment process, and what tools and techniques might be used to help ensure that fiduciary duties are met.


View all Award category winners and read the latest news from Savvy Investor directly from CEO Andrew Perrins in the 2020 Awards Magazine. Download now!


The Savvy Investor Awards celebrate the best content from across the global institutional investment industry. We present awards across 14 different categories including the best overall paper.

Every year our Content Team handpicks and uploads over 10,000 articles and papers to the Savvy Investor platform. This library, alongside engagement data from 50,000+ members, means our judges are well-placed to identify and assess the award-worthy papers of 2020. The Awards are judged on many elements including the depth, quality, readability, and of course, appeal and relevance to our institutional investor audience. In a world saturated with content, and where it’s difficult to cut through the noise, it is a great pleasure to award quality, cutting edge, and deeply engaging thought leadership to the investment community.

As the leading content hub for institutional investors, the Savvy Investor Awards were designed to help to affirm or establish authors and firms as true thought leaders within the industry.


Savvy Investor has partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects and committed to planting a tree for every new member that registers on our site! Learn more.


Check out the latest thinking on the ESG debate, including featured papers and Q&As with prominent industry experts in in our Special Report “Sustainable Investing: A new dawn”.


To find out how you can partner with Savvy Investor to enhance your thought leadership credentials in the institutional investor marketplace, please contact our Head of Partner Sales, Stuart Blake,


Savvy Investor has created digital assets (award banners and links) for you to publicise your award in social media, blogs, emails, newsletters and on your website. To receive your digital assets, please email