Investors are increasingly applying Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) data – the non-financial metrics, as part of their analysis process to identify material risk and growth opportunities. Vincent Triesschijn, Director of Sustainable Investing at ABN AMRO, highlighted the significance and growth potential of ESG driven investing in an interview: “We’re seeing that investing according to ESG criteria is becoming more and more popular. Worldwide, sustainable investments have reached record amounts. ABN AMRO is currently managing 20 billion euros’ worth of client assets in sustainable investments, of which 1 billion euros in impact investments. We’re incredibly proud that the new Impact Equity Fund has already raised 200 million euros.”
Sustainable investing has grown in popularity thanks to a shift in investing methodology preference driven by the millennial generation. The earliest batch of millennials (born in early 1980s) are already in their late 30s by now – the prime investing years. This investment discipline shift will gradually influence all other generations when the interest is becoming mainstream. Sustainable funds are growing, with the total asset size globally just shy of US$2 trillion. The bulk of these funds are in Europe (US$1.63 trillion).
Even the banks and financial institutions, are increasingly allocating a higher weightage to sustainability metrics as part of financial loan approval.
|Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay|
eKYC for Positive Environmental Impact
Microsoft set a bold goal and detailed plan to be carbon negative by 2030, and even to remove historical carbon emissions by 2050.
Even in current times when physical movement is facing disruptions, many businesses are still primarily relying on physical customer servicing touchpoints in business and sales operations. This is a significant source of carbon footprints. Based on a survey done by Michael Page, the average commuting time between home and work, in Kuala Lumpur, is 44 minutes. Deriving inspiration from research done by NRDC, 1 minute on the road and assuming at ideal traffic (55mph), average carbon dioxide emissions is 291 grams/minute/car. In Kuala Lumpur alone, even if we are assuming a very low traffic volume of 100,000 cars on the road each day, the carbon dioxide emissions would reach 1,280 tonnes per day! Using the same analogy, you can derive the carbon footprints produced by your business, for all the branches nationwide, contributed by your staff and customers each day.
Outdoor air pollution was estimated to have caused 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016, and the highest concentrations of air pollution are in Asia.