Financial Performance

Can sustainable investments achieve performance objectives? 

The Business Case for ESG briefing paper provides a concise overview of the growing body of research on the financial performance of sustainable investment strategies.

Seeing SRI in Context | Steffon M. Gray, assistant director, research and policy analysis, NACUBO, March 2019.

Paper on financial performance of ESG integration in US investing | Principles for Responsible Investment, February 2018

  • Summarizes the findings on ESG materiality in three empirical studies

Sustainable Investing and Bond Returns | Barclays, October 2016

  • Examines the relationship between ESG investing and performance in the US corporate bond markets and finds that the incorporation of ESG factors into the analysis of bonds had a small but consistent performance benefit.

Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality (pdf) l Mozaffar Khan, George Serafeim, Aaron Yoon, March 9, 2015

  • Found that firms with good ratings on material sustainability issues significantly outperform firms the poor ratings on these issues. 

The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance(pdf) | Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou, George Serafeim, Harvard Business School, July 2013

  • 18-year study (1993-2011) showing that 90 companies with strong sustainability policies outperformed a similar group of 90 companies with low sustainability standards, with a 4.8 percent higher annual above-market average return.

Allocating Capital for Long-Term Returns | Generation Foundation, May 2015

Excerpt from GMO The Race for Our Lives 

  • An analysis of the performance impact of divesting from various S&P 500 sectors. 

For reports evaluating the financial performance implications of specifically divesting from fossil fuels, please see the Fossil Fuel Divestment resources page.  

How a Sustainable Investing Lens leads to Better Stock Selection:

David Blood, Generation Investment Management 


For more resources on financial resources, see here

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