Sustainability is hugely important for many people, and investors are starting to consider it when choosing their investments and what to include in their portfolios. They want to only invest in companies and businesses with impressive environmental, social and governance goals and scores.



ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a framework that experts use to assess business practices and performance in these key areas because these are what businesses are required to report, especially to their shareholders.

Social-conscious investors also use ESG standards to assess a company’s or business’s behaviours and screen companies to see if they would be a good fit for the investment goals.

What is it, and how does it affect the financial market?

Environmental, Social, and Governance investing is an investment strategy that incorporates evaluating a company’s environmental, social, and governance practices into the investment decision-making process.

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in ESG investing as investors have become more aware of companies’ potential impact on the environment and society. Many investors now prefer to invest in companies committed to sustainable practices, which has led to the development of a growing number of environmental, social, and governance investment options.

Is ESG the same as responsible or sustainable investing?

Sustainable investing is a border umbrella term that describes including businesses in or excluding them from investment portfolios based on specific criteria. ESG investing falls under sustainable investing and is often seen as a stricter and broader version of it by some people, since inclusion or exclusion criteria are much broader. 

Both are forms of socially responsible investing as they consider the financial returns and investors’ moral values when picking companies to invest in. They both emphasise that the financial returns of investments should be secondary to an investor’s moral values.

What is the impact of this type of investing on financial returns?

Since there is a direct relationship between ESG performance and financial returns, environmental, social, and governance investing can significantly affect an investor’s potential returns. Companies with higher ESG ratings usually outperform companies with low ratings in stock price performance and profitability.

Also, companies with strong ESG performance have, on average, higher profitability and lower risk of bankruptcy than companies with weak performance.

How do ESG scores affect investment decisions?

ESG scores inform investors about a company’s current and future performance, opportunities for growth, and risk profile, all factors that can impact investment decisions. 

Companies with high ESG scores are less likely to feel the effects or risks such as climate change. They are better positioned to capitalise on sustainability and social responsibility opportunities and are more attractive to customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

All of these are positive factors that attract investors.

What are the key factors that determine a company’s score?

These key factors that determine a company’s ESG score include:

  • Environmental – Measures the business’s environmental risks and environmental harm.
  • Social – Measures how the business engages with the people it engages with.
  • Governance – Measures business leadership performance, transparency and decision-making and how they impact other areas like human well-being, the physical environment and the business environment.

How do ESG funds perform compared to traditional funds?

The performance of ESG funds compared to traditional funds varies depending on the fund’s specific investment strategy, asset class, and market conditions. However, there is evidence that environmental, social, and governance funds can perform as well as, if not better than, traditional funds over the long term.

What are the benefits and challenges?

Investors can align their morals with the actions of the companies they invest in with the knowledge that these companies are doing something positive for the environment.

The main challenges of ESG investing are having a hard time choosing companies to invest in and not knowing whether the companies are keeping up with their set goals.

What is ESG integration in investment management, and how is it being used to make better investment decisions?

ESG integration is incorporating information in investment decision-making processes to improve investment decisions and outcomes. It is used to pick companies with excellent present and predictable future performance.

While it is relatively new, ESG investing impacts how investors pick investment options and how companies behave. Investors understand that businesses with good ESG scores perform better, and businesses understand that higher scores open up opportunities for profitability and further investments.