A Risky Environment for Investment

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As a result of the fallout of environment disasters, mainly due to climate change, business losses are on the rise, from $46 billion in the 1990s per annum to $125 billion in 2005. Thus, the financial sector and investors are looking at integrating issues of sustainability with respect to environmental protection and of profitability…

Introduction

Moreover, lenders, shareholders, actions groups are putting more pressure on companies to disclose information with regards to business activities that impact on the environment so that these factors could be taken into account with investment decisions.
A number of initiatives have been worked out to integrate sustainability and profitability. On a global level, the United Nations has been working with businesses and industries to make their activities more environmentally sustainable - among these are the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) including the UNEP Finance Initiative, and the UN Global Compact. A notable non-UN initiative is the Equator Principles developed by banks to manage environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues. The launch of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in April 2006 was intended for pension funds (constituting about 35% of total global investments) and large institutional investors, and provides a "framework for achieving better and long-term investment returns and more sustainable markets". About 50 institutional investors from the US and Europe with a portfolio of about $4 trillion have signed on to PRI. ...
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