Chapter 1: Sustainable Investing at a Turning Point

Daniel C. Esty and Todd Cort


Sustainable investing has expanded from a niche interest to a mainstay of investment strategies around the world. With a growing number of investors focused not just on the financial promise of the companies in their portfolios but also the environmental, social, and governance performance of these enterprises, the demand for better ESG metrics and reporting has skyrocketed. This book explains the critical concepts, trends, risk frameworks, and investment tools that investors of all kinds—including those in stocks, bonds, private equity, infrastructure projects, and impact investing—need to know. With informative essays from a range of scholars, policy experts, and investment practitioners, it explores the state of play in sustainable finance with particular focus on the data, guidelines, legal standards, and principles required to make ESG reporting more trustworthy and thus sustainable investing more mainstream.