Our newsletter, to be delivered twice monthly, will explore pertinent issues related to smart technology, clean energy and sustainable agriculture. Our goal is to keep a finger on the pulse of industry trends and how they relate to Novus’s goals and success
ESG isn’t just good business. It’s everyone’s business.
Last year, the UN declared this the “Decade of Action,” calling on governments, businesses and other stakeholders to act toward 17 sustainable development goals that include ending poverty and hunger, increasing health and well-being, providing clean water and clean energy, and boosting industry, innovation and infrastructure.
Investors are in a unique position to facilitate progress in these directions by funding efforts that align with their values. ESG — environmental, social and governance — investing has taken off in recent years, and new developments indicate that seeking out sustainability-focused assets might not be merely niche interest.
According to Bloomberg Green, risks such as climate change, unfair labor practices and corporate ethics will become even more pressing for banking institutions within the next two years. A Deloitte survey found financial leaders now recognize environmental risks as the biggest challenge to contend with — even more so than more obvious industry issues like cybersecurity, credit and compliance.
And because one’s own efforts feed into the success of others, business leaders, investors and clients will have a greater stake in the ESG initiatives of those with whom they do business.
The U.S.’s reentering the Paris Agreement is expected to be a major driver of this sort of accountability. The Biden administration has paused regulations barring Wall Street lenders from refusing to serve businesses whose practices could be detrimental to their reputations, such as oil drilling companies and gun manufacturers. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve recently formed a committee tasked with supervising banks on climate-related efforts, and many are anticipating new disclosure requirements related to a company’s ESG framework.
Accountability, we believe, is a crucial component to collaboration and cooperation. And collaboration and cooperation will be crucial to affecting change.
In Other News
Water for all
The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill declaring “clean, potable and affordable water” a basic human right. If passed by the Senate, the legislation will decriminalize non-payment of water bills.
The Nobel laureate Paul J. Crutzen died Jan. 28 in Mainz, Germany. He was 87. Crutzen was a Dutch scientist who discovered that certain chemicals attack the ozone layer. He and his colleagues are credited with warning the world of the threat climate change would pose.