ESG trends to watch in 2019

Kanika Sharma    Linda-Eling Lee, Matt Moscardi
13 Mar 2019
Category: ESG

Country or region: Asia Pacific (Overall)

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We highlight five of the most pressing challenges and opportunities ESG institutional investors face in 2019:  plastic waste, regulations, the effects of climate change, the big signal revolution and the role of corporate leadership.

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Trade wars. Technological disruption. Political dysfunction. Rising volatility and vulnerability. The beginning of 2019 has already been described in a multitude of ways, but the overarching themes coming forth tend to follow a clear narrative: The bull market may be ending, and everyone is bracing for the long haul.

For an ESG investor, the long haul already has started. Underlying many of the 2019 themes are potentially overlooked costs and opportunities, and our 2019 ESG Trends to Watch have one thing in common: Acting today could make the difference tomorrow.

  1. The Other Trade War: Plastic Waste
In 2019, companies and investors are forced to contend with the new reality: Waste reduction isn’t a marketing priority; it’s a business challenge.
  1. Regulating the Business of ESG Investing
In 2019, the script flips, and it isn’t just companies that are fielding ESG-related disclosure requirements. Investors will see escalating demands as regulators ramp up scrutiny beyond primarily issuers to focus on the business of ESG investing.
  1. The Not-so-Distant Future for Climate Risk
In 2019, we will see the end of the argument that time is on our side. Nowhere will it be more evident than in private assets like real estate.
  1. The Big Signal Revolution
In 2019, as we look out onto the next decade for ESG Ratings, having more data will be the easy part. The hard part – and the important part – will be knowing how to identify and apply the most relevant signals and achieve better differentiated investment objectives.
  1. Leadership in the Age of Transparency
In 2019, investors stop asking after a scandal, “What did the board know, and when did they know it?” and start asking before a scandal hits, “What are my rights?”

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ESG trends to watch in 2019

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