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ESG Investing Trends for 2022

Jimmy Khan

Aug 09, 2022 17:12


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Trends in ESG investment are nothing new. For years, these tendencies have been increasing and decreasing company stock prices. However, over time, it is anticipated that ESG investing trends will have a substantial impact on the investment market. Learn more about these trends by reading my list.

Most of us seek for the anticipated returns when making investments, right?

However, as public awareness of climate change, a sustainable environment, and ethical investment has grown over the last several years, things have started to shift.

Investors are now increasingly considering ESG issues, or environmental, social, and governance considerations. It is now established that ESG investments are on the rise.

Since sustainable investing climbed by 456 percent from 2005 to 2020, the ESG investment trends have accelerated.

Simply stated, conventional investing practices are giving way to ones that are more moral, sustainable, and responsible. And it won't disappear any time soon either.

If anything, it is now becoming the mainstream rather than a specialist market.

For more information on the topic, let's look at the top ESG investing trends for this year.

How Do ESG Investments Work?

Here is a quick overview of the idea for newcomers before we list the ESG investing trends for this year.

Environmental, social, and governance investment trends are often referred to as ESG.

In a word, the genre includes all investment alternatives that seek to provide stable income for the investor as well as favorable returns for global challenges.

ESG investing trends go beyond just being ethical investments that enable investors to give back to the community and the environment.

Today, sustainable investing encompasses all investments based on social values or principles, such as ethical investing and social impact investing.

Simply stated, current ESG investing trends indicate that it is extremely advantageous to be a decent person and spend your money wisely.

Companies all around the globe are adopting ESG investment trends to remain relevant, from lowering their total carbon footprint to collaborating with other businesses to manage resources effectively to assuring ethical labor employment.

Furthermore, new study demonstrates that adopting sustainability trends has no negative consequences on the performance of your assets.

You have choices on where to put your ESG funds. Before engaging in anything, you must do your homework to become informed.

Check out my list of ESG investment trends below if you're worried about the environment and want to adopt conservative practices in your company.

The Top ESG Investing Trends to Watch

New ESG investing trends are developing at the same time as interest in ESG investments is rising.

Even though the market is still developing, there are certain obvious investing patterns that are beginning to emerge. The most notable sustainability trends for the future years are listed below.


fight against climate change

Following the Paris Agreement, corporations and investors began to place a high priority on climate change and the variables impacting the earth's temperature.

ESG investments are anticipated in this area since the Biden administration is eager to uphold the Paris Agreement.

If you didn't already know, the Paris Agreement was proposed back in 2015. The convention aimed to commit internationally recognized nations to contribute to keeping annual global climate change below two degrees Celsius.

Notably, high-scale sectors like energy production, the steel industry, and resource mining are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions in any nation. As a result, the concerned nations would need to demand that the world's largest corporations cut their emissions.

Since its inception, the pact has forced several businesses to seriously alter their operations or suffer the wrath of the government.

Only 16 percent of IMI firms, according to research done last year, are in compliance with the rules set out to attain the 2 degree Celsius global temperature goal, despite five years of policy enforcement.

The Paris Agreement also established a second, more difficult goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius year.

Only 5% of worldwide IMI firms succeed in doing this.

The number of investors eager to fight climate change is increasing every year, despite the fact that some may see these data as being unimportant.

We can anticipate more businesses aligning with the ESG trend and opening additional investment trends for sustainability, which will add to the yearly increase in pressure on the government level.

Imagine, however, that a large number of the firms in your portfolio plan to sign an alignment commitment this year. If that happens, you can see a significant decline in investment returns until the firms make up their initial loss.

Bringing back biodiversity

Biodiversity is now being taken seriously when it comes to sustainable trends in the financial industry.

Similar to the financial crisis, authorities and investors throughout the globe are paying close attention to the biodiversity problem and its devastating impact on our environment.

A UN summit on biodiversity preservation was planned to take place in China last year to address this issue.

The summit was intended to advance urgent emergency actions around the globe to maintain the health of our environment. The Paris Agreement also had the same view on the climate change challenge.

The meeting is anticipated to take place again in May of this year, albeit it was postponed due to the worldwide pandemic last year.

Given that the conference is taking place in the beginning of the year, it will alter market patterns for businesses that rely on the environment and natural resources.

The regulations are anticipated to focus on the grave health risks posed by declining biodiversity, which will have an immediate impact on the food, agricultural, and real estate sectors.

Depending on where they are located and the nature of their company, companies will need to develop thorough portfolios of their biodiversity footprint. As they take steps to lessen climate risk, this will help policymakers develop a strategy to revive biodiversity.

Investors could anticipate more corporations to provide their whole portfolios to demonstrate their precise interactions with sectors with high diversity values as a result of the ESG investment trend.

Let's use the agriculture sector as an example to help you get some understanding. The sector relies heavily on biodiversity for fertile soil and seed preservation in order to produce food.

However, the sector is responsible for over 80% of global deforestation, which displaces thousands of species and has an influence on biodiversity as a whole.

Investors should keep an eye out for favorable improvements in the key investment industries as a result of greater understanding of these facts and numbers.

Refer to this: ESG Profile for Oracle Corporation (ORCL) Can it be sustained?


Providing the Attention That Mental Health Deserves

We had a year of chaotic schedules and perplexing reality because to the worldwide epidemic. Long lockdowns and rules requiring social segregation have fundamentally altered how we think about urban life.

Naturally, this led to a sharp increase in the number of reported instances of anxiety and sadness.

While 64% of US individuals experienced the typical symptoms of despair, 57% battled debilitating anxiety.

This resulted in a terrible outcome. A second epidemic that the globe had to deal with as a result of the global pandemic's effects was mental health.

The idea became more clear when local mental health clinics received five times as many visitors and referrals as they did in the pre-COVID era.

I can imagine what you're wondering: how will these figures affect future investment trends? There is an easy solution. Due to mental illnesses, job pressure, and a lack of emotional support, businesses are losing excellent personnel.

Unbelievably, 25% of all UK organizations have stated that at least one member of their essential staff has left owing to depression and emotional exhaustion.

Therefore, companies will continue to suffer enormous financial loss if they don't give mental health the attention it needs in the next years.

By fostering flexible work arrangements and outcome-based employment models, several companies are already tackling the problem. This enables staff members to find free time for socializing, enjoying themselves, and pursuing their interests.

Businesses who effectively use these strategies will see a rise in productivity over the next several years, which will translate into more money for investors.

However, organizations that continue to ignore these problems risk significant employee burnout and catastrophic financial losses in the near future.

Getting Social Inequality Out

Workers all across the globe have had it with racism, gender inequity, and lax workplace regulations. And certainly, this may have a direct effect on investors who use their hard-earned money to support businesses.

How? Read on.

Companies will need to improve how they treat their workers and maintain connections with their supply chains in the coming years as a result of the pandemic pushing workplace operational concerns into the spotlight.

The preceding years similarly brought to light other impending problems including inequality, variable pay ratios, and CEO payment discrepancies. Investors will need to ensure their portfolio companies contribute positively to these social challenges as people grow more conscious of their rights.

Stock prices will clearly increase for businesses that successfully endeavor to bridge the social divide between their workers and provide the essential advantages to their local supplier chains.

However, failing to do so may have disastrous consequences for businesses, including labor strikes, legal action, and societal boycotts.

This will decrease employee creativity, productivity, and motivation over time while also causing instant stock depreciation.

Choosing a Variety of Foods

The fact that Gen-Z and millennial customers have forced food firms to change their business models is hardly breaking news.

Wiser consumers have fueled exponential development in both sectors by rising demand for vegan choices and plant-based protein substitutes.

Impossible Foods, a well-known manufacturer of plant-based meat substitutes, is a clear example.

The firm distributes its goods in more than 11,000 retail outlets throughout the US because the epidemic, lockdowns, and a lack of exercise influenced individuals to adopt better eating alternatives.

That indicates a considerable increase in demand—nearly 77 times more than it was before the outbreak. Similar efforts are being made by well-known eateries like Taco Bell and McDonald's to provide customers with a variety of meal alternatives.

While the latter is getting ready to launch McPlant, the first plant-based protein option on its menu, the former is anticipated to join with Beyond Meat later this year.

These data and updates demonstrate the expanding ESG investment trend in the food industry. The market for plant-based proteins is estimated to grow from its start-up value of $20 million.

For investors wishing to diversify their portfolios, businesses that provide cutting-edge solutions and distinctive farming techniques to suit this need might prove to be very profitable investment opportunities.


the fashion industry is being transformed

The most surprising ESG investment trend of recent years is undoubtedly the sustainability tendencies in the fashion sector.

When it came to ESG problems, a sector that took pleasure in establishing new trends and introducing innovation to seasonal apparel was always behind the curve.

Nevertheless, Vogue forecasts that in the wake of the 2019 epidemic, sustainable fashion may finally gain traction. Used clothes retailers have already reported a significant increase in sales for this year.

The market for used clothes has expanded 21 times faster than that for new clothing during the last two years.

In particular, companies like Patagonia, thredUp, and Poshmark are predicted to have a billion dollar gain in net value over the next several years as a result of the sustainable ESG fashion movement.

For investors wishing to diversify their portfolios in the fashion business, that is a successful investment choice.

Trends in Inter-Industriel Growth

It's clear from impending ESG investment trends that solving current problems in the modern world is not a game for a single person. Instead, if we want to achieve our aims for the global community, businesses must collaborate and support one another.

Look at the UK's goal of using wind energy to power every house by the end of this decade. This does not imply that the only way the government can do this is by uniting all energy generating enterprises under one banner.

To achieve this, a number of industries, including those in real estate, construction, and infrastructure, must collaborate.

The concept of businesses collaborating for a good cause makes the brands relevant to today's consumers and supports their success in the context of ESG investment trends.

Consider Dyson, a company that began producing medical ventilators in response to the pandemic's need.

In the next years, it is anticipated that such inter-industrial support networks would expand and provide considerable financial income.


The top 3 emergent COVID-19-related ESG investment trends

The worldwide epidemic exposed major vulnerabilities in our economic and social institutions and wrecked havoc on almost every facet of our existence. Real risks to economies, people, and the environment include pollution, biodiversity loss, deforestation, social inequality, labor rights, and water shortages. These concerns have an impact on companies, funds, investors, and customers alike.

There is a growing need for solutions that have the ability to bring about meaningful change as the world emerges from this historic catastrophe and starts to restructure economies and societies on more stable footing. As a result, corporations are being pressured by ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investors to adopt resilient and renewable energy sources, diverse hiring practices, fair pay, and reliable, open data.

A $120 billion influx into sustainable investments was recorded in 2021, more than doubling the $51.1 billion that ESG funds saw in 2020 and breaking yet another yearly record. And it seems like the increasing trend will stay in place. According to Bloomberg, global ESG assets are anticipated to reach $53 trillion by 2025, making up more than one-third of the $140.5 trillion in total assets under management.

Several distinct themes are developing as ESG investing is more fully incorporated into the financial sector.

Trend 1: Global warming

The lack of climate action and severe weather have dominated global risk concerns over the last ten years, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report. These two risks have the potential to cause natural resource depletion, biodiversity loss, forced migration, and livelihood problems.

The mining, utility, and processing industries, as well as other properties and assets controlled by the greatest firms in the world, would all be impacted by unchecked global warming, according to research published by S&P Global's Trucost. According to the study, 68 nations' worth of physical assets owned by corporations in the benchmark S&P Index (with a market value of $18 trillion) are exposed to at least one sort of physical risk from climate change.

As a consequence, the most urgent systemic issue facing our planet now is climate change, which has been driving ESG trends for more than ten years. As we look for fresh, cutting-edge resources to assist us in creating investing strategies that take climate risk into account, we anticipate that tendency to continue. Although there are many intricate aspects to climate change, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and biodiversity are now the focus of the environmental debate.

Carbon offsets will become commonplace

Five million people die each year as a result of climate change, according to a recent research, and the World Bank predicts that 143 million people will become climate migrants over the next 30 years. Economic production is also anticipated to be significantly impacted by climate change. According to the Swiss Re Institute, if global temperatures increase by 3.2°C, climate change may wipe away up to 18% of the world's GDP by 2050.

What then is the cause of the rise in global temperatures? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has unanimously concluded that human activities, including the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation, are raising Earth's temperature and so contributing to global warming. Since the industrial revolution, GHG emissions have grown by more than 30 percent, while the planet's surface temperature has warmed by around 1.0°C.

Due to these realities, carbon offsetting—the process of making up for CO2 or other GHG emissions—has become a top priority for policymakers, regulators, and financial institutions. Particularly businesses are putting a lot of effort into lowering their total GHG emissions as well as investigating different carbon offsetting methods like planting trees, reclaiming damaged land, and employing carbon capture and storage technology to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Loss of biodiversity

Loss of biodiversity has detrimental effects on way of life and economy that are as destructive as climate change. Additionally, there has been a sharp rise in biodiversity loss, or the loss of the variety of living things on the planet. According to the World Economic Forum, more than half of the world's GDP is moderately or severely dependent on nature, making the mass extinction of species a growing source of worry for companies and investors.

Even while it is presently unusual for investment businesses to voluntarily disclose their environmental footprints, certain nations are starting to do so. The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) of the European Union (EU) come into force on January 1, 2022, mandating investment businesses to disclose actions that have a detrimental impact on biodiversity-sensitive regions.


Second trend: Social injustice

Due to the COVID-19 crisis' severe issues and resulting escalation of social gender and wage disparities, social aspects have come into more focus. As schools and daycare centers shuttered to stop the spread of the epidemic, millions of mothers quit the workforce to care for their children. In addition, the pandemic had a significant impact on the food service, leisure, hospitality, and retail sectors, which are dominated by women of color. Therefore, it has never been more crucial to be conscious of diversity and inclusion and to take action in these areas, particularly now that the economy is recovering and displaced groups may be included.

Social risks may have a significant influence on financial resilience when it comes to establishing it. For instance, health and safety requirements cost firms money up front, but also reduce the likelihood of expensive litigation. For ESG investors, diversity and inclusion are becoming more and more crucial, especially in two crucial areas: CEO compensation and equal pay for women.

gender pay parity

Regardless of the nature of their employment, the gender pay gap is a measurement of the difference in average pay between men and women across an entire company, business sector, industry, or the whole economy. Women earned 84 percent of what males made in 2020, according an examination of the median hourly salaries for full- and part-time jobs. In order for women to earn what males earned in a year, it would need an additional 42 days of labor.

The discrepancy in pay between men and women is a hot topic that is gaining support. Investors who think the gender pay gap is a serious issue have more possibilities to invest in businesses that prioritize addressing it, and ESG investors have more reason to purchase from businesses that actively promote gender equality.

If these problems aren't resolved immediately away, businesses run the danger of losing the leaders they most urgently need. Building trust and a more inclusive, joyful, and productive workplace may be achieved by teaching corporate leaders to eliminate gender pay inequalities, acknowledge the unique abilities of their team members, foster a diverse workplace, and reward workers for their hard work.

Compensation for executives

There are other factors contributing to inequality in modern society besides the polarization of race and gender. The pandemic made economic wealth inequalities worse, leading to significant wage differences between employees and CEOs, for which businesses have come under growing pressure.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation has increased 1,322 percent since 1978. CEOs were paid 351 times as much as the average worker in 2020, a year when the COVID-19 epidemic caused the loss of 114 million jobs. This increase in CEO compensation has contributed to the development of the incomes of the top 1%, reducing prospects for economic growth for average employees and expanding the income gap between the top 1% and the bottom 90%.

Because of this, many people are calling for legislative measures that would lessen the incentives for CEOs to demand financial concessions and restrict their power to do so, such as reintroducing higher marginal income tax rates. Another tactic that has gained popularity in recent years is tying CEO compensation to ESG goals.

Third trend: improved ESG data

As more investors expect comprehensive ESG reports, more businesses are reporting on their sustainability activities. 92 percent of the S&P 500 Index's firms, according to the Governance & Accountability Institute, published sustainability reports in 2020.

ESG data, however, may be inconsistent and made up of a patchwork of reporting formats, making it challenging to gather and compare. As legislation and investor preferences change, clear and universal reporting requirements are still in their infancy, despite the fact that many firms are likely to brag about the ESG objectives they are accomplishing.

To increase transparency and strengthen ESG integration, you need better data. The good news is that as reporting requirements move from voluntary to required and businesses start to compete for sustainability-focused investment capital, the quality and quantity of ESG data are increasing.

Certain reporting frameworks, such the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and the Value Reporting Foundation's SASB Standards, are emerging as leaders as the need for data requirements increases.

It will be simpler for businesses to report on their progress toward their ESG commitments and objectives and for market players to recognize, evaluate, and take advantage of ESG risks and opportunities thanks to uniform data standards.


Last Words

It is clear from my list of the top ESG investment trends for this year that these trends are not wholly fresh ideas.

Globalization, societal dangers, and environmental concerns have, nevertheless, propelled these activities into very valuable business opportunities. also, for more information.

Do you understand the distinctions between impact investing, SRI, and ESG? It's important for you to be aware of this. We could soon see the transformation of the global economy into a sustainable and moral marketplace if investors assist ESG investment trends in ascending from niche markets to mainstream company possibilities.