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Sustainability and Stewardship for Institutional Investors

Stewardship, SI, RI, and ESG - the best recent white papers

What does it take for an institutional investor to be a model steward of assets, and to properly address responsible investment / sustainability / ESG issues? 

Just recently released, The Big Book of SI from Robeco is a tremendous resource for information on the field of sustainability investing.  Additionally, we've included several investor surveys, recommendations for specific industries, and a summary of stewardship-centric activities undertaken by an institutional investment firm.

sustainability stewardship

The Big Book of SI (Robeco, 2018)
The Big Book of SI is a 102-page tome that analyzes the current state of sustainability investing and big trends that are shaping its future, including insights on sustainability reporting and the link between ESG and performance.

Responsible Investing That Reduces Your Carbon Footprint (DWS AM, 2018) 
(For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the United Kingdom)
DWS reviews evidence in favour of ESG investing, ESG and low carbon index-tracking solutions, tilting portfolios towards high ESG rated companies, the drivers of low carbon methodologies, and other related issues.

Sustainability and recycling: investing for a circular economy (Hermes, 2018) 
(For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States)
Society is addicted to plastics, but aside from merely attending to the resulting environmental problems, what is needed is a paradigm shift in goods production and goods consumption, and one in which investors can participate.

Stewardship 2017: Year in Review (State Street Global Advisors)
This Annual Stewardship Report by State Street Global Advisors showcases the impact of the Fearless Girl campaign, as well as other activities undertaken in 2017 to improve ESG practices within portfolio companies.

Investor Usage of ESG Information: Global Survey Evidence (Financial Analysts Journal, 2018)
This survey provides insights into the usage of ESG information by investors and their specific motivations, including client demand, ethical considerations, and relevance to investment performance.

Winning Climate Strategies: Practical Solutions (Asset Owner Disclosure Project)
This report presents best practices and a ten building blocks framework for asset owners who are either introducing or developing climate-related strategies.

Global perspectives on responsible investing (Aon Hewitt, 2018)
Established as a result of the recent upsurge in institutional implementation of responsible investing initiatives, Aon's responsible investment survey captures investor's attitudes towards responsible investment. 

ESG's Evolving Performance: First, Do No Harm (Axioma, Jul 2018)
Axioma evaluates ESG investment performance, finding that an increased exposure to ESG rarely underperforms, and often outperforms, the market. 

The impact of ESG investing on corporate bonds (Fidelity Intl, Jul 2018)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the UK and Europe)
In this paper, analysts at Fidelity International investigate the relationship between ESG scores and characteristics of corporate bonds issuers.

Climate Change: The Race of Our Lives Revisited (Jeremy Grantham, Aug 2018)
Jeremy Grantham, GMO co-founder, offers some important thoughts on climate change, agriculture, other problems, and the precarious situation humanity finds itself in.

ESG Monitoring, Reporting and Dialogue in Private Equity (PRI, 2018)
This is the PRI's 3rd piece in a series of recommendations for LPs and GPs who are working towards integrating responsible investment practices across their due diligence, fund commitment, and fund reporting processes.

The One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Framework, Jul 2018
The One Planet SWF Working Group (and resulting Framework within this document) were established in order to work towards integrating climate change issues within the asset management sector. 

Video: ESG - When Should Investors Walk Away? (PineBridge, Jul 2018)
A core part of ESG investing is engagement with companies persuading them to be better, but what if they won't listen? Is there a point, as an investor, where you have to walk away and accept defeat?

Considering the Risk From Future Carbon Prices (S&P Dow Jones Indices, 2018)
Given the increased regulation of carbon emissions and projections for dramatic rises in carbon prices over the next decade, S&P DJI has launched the S&P Carbon Price Risk Adjusted Indices to properly account for carbon price risk.

The Financial Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment (IEEFA/Sightline Institute, 2018)
This paper makes the case that divestment is a proper financial response by investment trustees to current market conditions and to the outlook facing the coal, oil, and gas sectors.