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Responsible investment and strategies focusing on environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) risks are facing a very important year in 2019.

January 18, 2019

Top 10 ESG Trends for 2019

Below is an excerpt from ISS ESG’s recently released paper “Top 10 ESG Trends for 2019”. The full paper is available for download from the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) online library.

Responsible investment and strategies focusing on environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) risks are facing a very important year in 2019. The possibility of the first global economic slowdown since the dramatic rise of ESG investing will put all asset managers to the test, including those following ESG investment strategies. While several regulatory and investor-led initiatives affecting how companies deal with environmental and social issues are currently underway, a key question is whether such forces will maintain momentum despite potential economic and political headwinds.

In our predictions of ESG trends in 2019, our view is that the growth of ESG investing is independent of short-term economic or political trends, as by definition sustainability aims at mitigating long-term systematic and idiosyncratic risks. As such, our teams foresee a greater focus on stewardship and potential advancements in categorizing and measuring ESG risks and their impacts. Improved disclosure will play a key role in allowing investors to better analyze more accurate and more consistent ESG data. However, expert analysis and interpretation of data will also be crucial in allowing for effective integration of ESG signals in the investment approach. The main themes this year will continue to include existing key areas of focus, such as climate change, human capital management, and cybersecurity. However, additional topics, such as the growing scrutiny of unsustainable practices by consumers and the potential social risks associated with technology will also begin to surface more frequently. Read on for our top 10 ESG investment trends for 2019!

Explore ISS ESG solutions mentioned in this report:

  • Identify ESG risks and seize investment opportunities with the ISS ESG Corporate Rating.
  • Use ISS ESG Climate Solutions to help you gain a better understanding of your exposure to climate-related risks and use the insights to safeguard your investment portfolios.
  • Use ISS ESG Sector-Based Screening to assess companies’ involvement in a wide range of products and services such as alcohol, animal welfare, cannabis, for-profit correctional facilities, gambling, pornography, tobacco and more.

By ISG-ESG Research Teams

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