ESG survey: Fifty shades of green

Author: John Crabb | Published: 6 Dec 2019

ESG is no longer an afterthought – but opinions and standards still vary

It's a watershed moment in the world of international finance and business. When first conceived, the concept of environmental, social and governance (ESG) was relegated to the realms of left-wing fantasy and idealism. Those on the inside saw it as an indulgence, a nice-to-have but largely unnecessary luxury that came with a premium.

But the last couple of years have seen a fundamental sea change – quite literally – and with it an extraordinary explosion of ESG activity. Global Sustainable Investment Alliance statistics suggest that as much as $31 trillion of managed assets in the world today touch ESG criteria in some way.

Across the board, ESG has shifted. What was once a concern only for those who actively want to change the world is seemingly now going mainstream.

"We are absolutely not seeing peak ESG. This is a secular...