The recent volatility in financial markets due to the coronavirus pandemic could provide investors with more of an incentive to grill companies on nonfinancial risks. But the pandemic has demonstrated on a large scale the importance of other factors that are paramount to ESG investors. Among them: disaster preparedness, continuity planning and employee treatment through benefits such as paid sick leave as companies direct employees to work from home. “…Over the long term, I think if anything this would likely accelerate the focus on ESG from an investor standpoint.”Barclays on Tuesday said it would begin providing ESG assessments for each of the companies that it covers. That is more true now than ever; social and environmental challenges, and investment drivers, are increasingly overlapping.”Whether or not the pandemic sharpens investors’ focus on ESG factors remains to be seen.
Source: Wall Street Journal March 25, 2020 20:34 UTC