Socially responsible investment was once considered a distinct category of investment theory and practice adhered to by specialised investment professionals and dedicated funds. Now the incorporation of environmental, social and governance factors in fund mandates, asset identification, evaluation, selection, and review is fast becoming established practice.
However, with the proliferation of campaigns and commitments comes a risk of increased complexity and diffusion of effort and impact. There is a need to consider whether aggregation, coordination and, in some cases, integration are a necessary step to build influence, strengthen alliances and translate aspirations into practical, legal, strategic and sustainable action.
Value Shifts: How Investors Are Advancing Sustainability in Capital Markets anticipates and responds to this need to take stock of the current state of investor engagement on sustainability. Itis an independent account, assessment and profile of investor-led sustainability and responsible investment movements, which serves as a platform to chronicle and explore their recent rise in influence; examine specific types of activity; and consider their current and potential role in effecting real system change.
Part One: Principles of Responsible Investment
1. Discourse and Narrative – Mainstreaming RI
2. Investor Cooperation and Collaboration
3. Risk and returns
Part Two: Mobilization
4. Diversification, Divestment and Engagement
5. Signing On
6. Proxy Campaigns and direct engagement
Part Three: Transparency in the Market
8. Informal information platforms
9. Indices, ranking and ratings
10. Policy Shifts
Part Four: Contributing to System Change
11. (Re) defining materiality
12. Call for Action to Actual Outcomes
ALISON L. DEMPSEY has over 20 years’ experience as a lawyer in Canada and the UK focusing on governance. She has worked in legal practice, international business advisory, non-profit and regulatory roles.