ESG Trends to watch

In our annual report, we explore the key environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends that are top of mind for investors in 2020. This year’s trends examine the sleeping giants of climate change; new terms for capital; re-valuing real estate; the new human capital paradox; and keeping score on stakeholder capitalism.

Climate change innovators: spotting the sleeping giants

  • Climate change innovators: spotting the sleeping giants 

  • In 2020, investors turbocharge their use of alternative data to spot the companies plotting to take a lead in propelling us toward a carbon-free economy.


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Trends table

  • New terms for capital: ready or not, here comes ESG

  • In 2020, ESG storms the CFO’s office, elbowing its way onto the bottom line as financiers get creative with ways to bind ESG criteria to their terms of capital, introducing a plethora of corporate borrowers into the wide world of ESG.

  • Re-valuing real estate: investing in the eye of the hurricane

  • In 2020, greening the property portfolio will move from a nice-to-have reputation-booster to an imperative in the face of a looming “brown discount” if real estate investors don’t kickstart their journey to zero carbon.

The new human capital paradox

  • The new human capital paradox: Juggling layoffs and shortages

  • In 2020, many more companies will have to become human capital multi-taskers, laying off some workers while simultaneously recruiting scarce new kinds of talent that may seem alien to management. Like a high-wire juggling act, any lapse could prove disastrous.


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Keeping score on stakeholder capitalism

  • Keeping score on stakeholder capitalism: looking for accountability in all the new places

  • In 2020, stakeholders without proxy cards will evolve their activism, joining forces with willing shareholders and using increasingly sophisticated means to size up whether companies really “walk the talk” when it comes to their stakeholder commitments.



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What is ESG Investing?

What is ESG Investing?

Walk along the path with us through the world of environmental, social and governance investing.

Exploring the ESG Trends of 2020

Exploring the ESG Trends of 2020

Read more on 2020's ESG trends

ESG Ratings Video

ESG Ratings Video

How do MSCI ESG Ratings work? What are significant ESG risks? What does a poor rating look like? How do investors use this?