It’s as if every business – large and small – was handed the same dreaded pop quiz. Vested stakeholders – employees, customers, shareholders, and communities – are sitting in the Teacher’s chair, grading the papers, and finding out who’s been doing their homework and who’s been day-dreaming. Never have business continuity policies been tested this acutely and broadly as they have by the COVID-19 pandemic. A test where the act of supplying, purchasing, and even being at a place of work can bring horrible health consequences.
ESG factors – measurable environmental, social, and governance qualities of a company – are serving as a valuable tool in this assessment process. ESG ratings help answer stakeholder questions: How well is the company protecting the health and safety of its most valuable assets – it’s employees and customers? How well was the business able to pivot when its supply chains were disrupted by shutdowns and many workers forced to stay home?
It’s no surprise that record levels of dollars have continued to pour into investment funds that use ESG factors in selecting their holdings. Much progress has been made towards securing reliable sources of ESG ratings from providers such as Morningstar and MSCI. Mandala Financial Advisors, at the forefront of this movement, is building portfolios for our clients with ESG mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), curated with the goal of achieving the greatest financial, environmental, and social impact.
In our Q2-2020 issue of Impact Investing News we explore how – often in striking ways – businesses and investors have responded to the health and financial risks wreaked by COVID-19.