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Global Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Capital Allocation Strategies Between Impact Ambitions and Measurement Challenges


Responsible investment as a capital allocation strategy has evolved from its ethical and political origins to embrace science-based considerations and outcome-based approaches in the context of the urgent action required in response to climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. This shift can pose both threats and opportunities to companies seeking to get access to a diversified investor base. The investment environment companies are faced with varies depending on the geographical context and the investment style of investors. In particular, the rise of passive investment – that is the replication of financial indices in the construction of fund portfolios – is an important tool for the integration of sophisticated environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment strategies. The US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa present different levels of maturity and strengths in the space of responsible investment, calling for ad-hoc responses from investee companies. Across all jurisdictions the challenge of effectively measuring the impact of responsible investment is one investors and policymakers alike are still grappling with.

Paper prepared in the framework of the IAI-Eni Strategic Partnership, July 2021.

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