ESG (Environmental Social Governance) investing themes to look out for in 2020

We are now in the Christian period of Lent, a time when traditionally people “give something up”; however another option is to do good turns, rather than denying yourself; this might be doing a good deed, giving something back, volunteering or maybe making an effort to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you’re looking to make a more positive impact on the world while also seeking returns on your investment, it’s important to be aware of some of the emerging trends and themes surrounding environmental investment. Let’s take a look:

The internet of things

New and interesting developments have arisen around technological integrations. Many appliances and devices now come embedded with sensors, software and the ability to connect to a network. This new interconnectivity in objects enables them to collect data so that manufacturers can identify areas of efficiency or inefficiency and make changes accordingly.

However, this industry is still in its infancy, so there will be some time before it fully flourishes. With that said, it remains an attractive piece of tech for manufacturers, so there’s little doubt that the industry will continue to grow, presenting investment opportunities in both software firms and manufacturers alike.

Electric vehicles

Many vehicle manufacturers are set to bring electric offerings to market in 2020, due to a predicted rise in consumer demand. It had been announced that the sale of new diesel and petrol cars would be banned by 2040. Boris Johnson has now brought the deadline forward to 2035, given that pressure was being put on the Government to make it as early as 2032. The increase of electric vehicles on the road may in turn lead to increased investment in charging infrastructure.

There may also be investment opportunities in companies that produce the technology and components required to develop and manufacture electric vehicles.

Fast fashion

The rise of the fast fashion industry has been close to meteoric. With its rise have come notable environmental concerns – the European Environment Agency lists textiles as the fourth biggest pollution after housing, transport and food. Fast fashion has a very negative impact on the environment, from the amount of water that is required to create products, to the amount of fabric that ends up in a landfill or is burned.

As a result, opportunities have arisen around the creation of materials that are more environmentally friendly than cotton or fossil-fuel derivatives, so firms involved in the development of sustainable materials may be worth investigating.

There are a whole variety of approaches to sustainability; in 1987 the Brundtland Report identified Sustainable Development as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Companies have many options available to them to report on sustainability, but only 50% of reporting requirements are mandatory and therefore ESG (Environmental Social Governance) is only partly reflected in market prices.

In the wake of storms Ciaro and Dennis and the devastation caused we are all asking if this is as a result of climate change, our concerns are reaching greater heights. The need for environmentally conscious solutions become all the more vital. If you’re interested in environmentally friendly investing, then make sure to get in contact for more information.  

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