Investing in a Sustainable World: Why Green Is the New Color of Money on Wall Street

By Matthew J. Kiernan | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
What’s Taken Us So Long?
The Power of Intellectual
and Organizational Inertia

We believe that a sustainable investment approach, taking account
of a wide range of environmental, social and governance issues
alongside more traditional financial factors in the investment
process, can help active managers to gain a better understanding
of the risks and opportunities within their investment universe
.

This in turn should enable them to construct portfolios with
superior long-term risk and reward profiles
.

—WATSON WYATT INVESTMENT CONSULTANTS

The sustainable investment thesis is nicely and succinctly captured in the quotation above.1 Its central proposition is—or at least ought to be—beguilingly simple and straightforward: managing the risks and exploiting the opportunities generated by the constantly shifting kaleidoscope of multistakeholder environmental and social pressures is one of the most complex management and leadership challenges confronting twenty-first century corporate executives and boards of directors. Those companies capable of navigating those shoals better than their competitors are quite likely to be better-managed companies, period. Bettermanaged companies in turn, ceteris paribus, are likely to be financial outperformers as well, at least in the medium and longer term. Thus, increasingly, investors should be looking at the sustainability performance

-19-

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