Chamber Chat – Responsible investing , Alison Norfolk
Alison Norfolk – Handelsbanken
Responsible investing: making good business sense
The trend towards responsible investment is changing the world of investing – for good.
Investors are increasingly interested in ensuring that their money not only grows but that it also
benefits society and the planet as it does so.
Indeed, a recent study shows that more than half (55%) of investors would like their money to
contribute to society and the environment.
This means that a company’s attitude when it comes to tackling environmental, social and
governance issues has come under much greater scrutiny than ever before. For companies looking
to secure funding, they have in fact become key areas of focus.
Investors looking to have a positive impact on the environment might look at what companies are
doing to tackle issues such as climate change, nuclear energy and toxic waste, before agreeing to
Companies are therefore having to look at how they might demonstrate what they are specifically
doing in these areas in order to receive the money they need to grow or develop.
Those investors more interested in the social side of things, might look at how a company treats its
staff and suppliers – as well as how well a company upholds labour and human rights.
It might be presumed that a company with a high-turnover of staff, for example, does not treat its
employees very well. That company would therefore be well advised to look into ways of improving
For those investors with a focus on governance issues, matters such as executive pay and positions
on shareholder rights might be analysed. Companies looking to secure investment could find that
having well thought out and presented policies in these areas is beneficial.
As responsibility and sustainability become greater focuses for consumers, companies with a
responsible attitude are also making increasingly better business sense for investment purposes.
This is another incentive for investors to seek out those who show that they care.
All in all the shift can only be a positive one – a thought worth bearing in mind for businesses and
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