Anne Popkin, president and chief operating officer at Newday Impact Investing, joins the conversation to discuss Environmental, Social, and Governance, or “ESG,” investing. More than $8.4 trillion has been invested in ESG-related equities and funds as of the end of 2022, according to Bloomberg. And it will be a hot topic for investors, Congress, and the federal government, as well as several southern states — notably Florida and Texas, who are at war with ESG because it represents, in the words of Florida’s Speaker of the House, Paul Renner: “woke financial titans who seek to dictate policy to Floridians regardless of our choices at the ballot box.” Anne provides an investor’s perspective on the politicization of ESG.
An ESG report is not a set of sustainability commitments, though those may be included to show progress at reducing the company’s financial risk. For example, an ESG report explores the risk of business disruption if the company continues to generate CO2 emissions that warm the planet and produce negative impacts that could raise costs or interrupt supply chains. Anne explains that we are in a brief but critical period of consolidating what we’ve learned to improve the way we measure and report business risk from climate change. Munich Re, a global reinsurance company, reports that climate-related losses in 2021 totaled more than $210 billion globally and $95 billion in the U.S. Compare that to the 40-year U.S. average weather-related losses of $43.9 billion and it’s clear that business must be prepared to weather at least twice the climate-caused losses of just a few years ago.
You can learn more about Newday Impact at newdayimpact.com.
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