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It is good to assess progress on ESG 

What I get from this Financial Times article (Lord make me ESG, but not yet) is that someone has put in the effort trying to work out how likely companies are to improve their performance against certain ESG criteria. That's a good thing to do, because there is no such thing as a perfect company.

Such assessments need to be robust. Investors need to set in advance how they will judge if a company is eligible for investment based on its activities (what it does and how it does it) and the rate of improvement.

This also illustrates how ESG investment requires the weighting (formally or otherwise) of ESG criteria according to investor preference or values, or to optimise for certain ESG factors if one believes that will improve performance (for which a robust case is needed). Too much of the ESG debate mixes the two approaches.

As always, asset owners and asset managers need to be clear what question they are asking when considering an ESG approach.
 


 
Blackrock announced it is likely to support proportionately fewer resolutions on climate change this year. Makes sense but resolutions can change companies.
My letter in the Financial Times on ESG, ethics, and activist investing.
My assessment of the finance pledges at COP26 and what really matters.
Investors must not forget about profits, even as they focus on wider criteria.
Unless CEOs and their boards are clear about their own values, and those of the companies they run, they will fall down a rabbit hole of confusion.
Press announcement from the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church.
My contribution to Aftershock, Policy Network's series on the pandemic. Progressives have much to learn from ethical or 'ESG' investors.