Archive - Zurich

May
6
2013

Unburnable Carbon a test case for ESG outperformance?

Earlier this year, I was invited to Zurich to present our thoughts on integrating ESG metrics through broad portfolio construction. An intimidating prospect, for several reasons:

  • It was Julie Hudson (London-based sustainability analyst at UBS – definitely worth reading her research as she is massively smart and thoughtful, and a promethean figure in the world of institutional ESG investing) who first cracked my mind open regarding sustainability investing at an SRI In The Rockies conference in the early 2000’s. Julie was on the attendee list.
  • The EU mandated ESG screening for all public pension plans around the same time, and Europe-based institutional investors have nearly $7trillion in ESG assets (Pensions and Investments, March 5, 2012). Yes, $7trillion. With a “t”.
  • Credit Suisse’s private wealth division has invested on behalf of its clients over $1billion invested in microfinance alone.
  • Several of the transformative institutions that occupy the periphery of impact conversations in the US are based in Europe: Triodos, Euclid, SOS, Le Comptoir de l’Innovation, EMI, etc. etc.

What could I possibly add to the conversation? I was here to learn, and as my grandmother always said, it’s hard to use your ears when your mouth is open.

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