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Global metric for ESG (environment, social, governance) sustainability likely to evolve out of Covid-19 crisis

A global metric to measure ESG (environment, social, governance) sustainability in companies is likely to be developed out of the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit over a long period, JSE Group chief executive Leila Fourie said this week.

Fourie spoke at a webinar on re-imagining capitalism. The other panellists included Harvard University Professor Rebecca Henderson and Gibs Ethics and Governance think tank founder and director Gideon Pogrund.

Henderson said “the world is on fire” and facing big challenges from environmental degradation, economic inequality and collapse, and threats to institutions.

“More and more people in the world can’t see how their children will be able to have the same lives they had, never mind a better life,” said Henderson.

Fourie said she had seen a massive increase in the size of investments into sustainable ESG-focused companies through the pandemic, and the crisis had shown that sustainable companies were more resilient to economic shocks.

She said that just like the development of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice, the framework for which developed over 10 years following the Great Depression in the US, so a global sustainable development measurement scorecard and measurement was likely to be developed following the Covid-19 crisis.

Such a universally accepted standard would be particularly beneficial for global groups that operate in many jurisdictions with different standards for ESG.

She described the growth in investment funds flowing into sustainable companies as “vertical”, and it was clear these investments had started to dispel the perception that there was a financial trade-off in investing companies that focused on long-term sustainability.

Henderson said: “We know we want ESG reporting and we want it now. On the other hand we know that many of the ESG measurements that we have are not that great.” Read more via IOL

Pemo Theodore

Pemo Theodore is a Media Publisher and a great people connector. She was Founder Silicon Valley TV which has served the San Francisco Bay Area for 10 years! She has produced Silicon Valley Events for Investors & Startups for 10 years. Pemo loves to video interview venture capitalists & founders to engage the human behind the success stories.. She has been Executive Producer of FinTech Silicon Valley for 6 years, organizing twice monthly FinTech talks & panels in San Francisco & Palo Alto and audio podcasts. She believes in learning through a great discussion with experts in the domains. Pemo has a talent to bring the right people together and is an incredible networker. Pemo's events have been seen as supporting Venture Capitalists & Angels in sourcing great deal flow from startups who attend her events. Many founders have received funding through meeting investors at her events. Her favored medium is audio & visual media and she has built up a great body of work of videos of panels & interviews and podcasts in Silicon Valley startup ecosystem. She has lived & worked in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, London, Northern Ireland & Silicon Valley. Bio

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