ESG Investing🌎 Is It The New Normal

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Alexis McCarthy

Recently, I was speaking on a panel at a Family Office & Private Wealth Management conference and I was asked “is ESG (environmental, social and governance) still a niche investment strategy?” While today it represents a minority of funds invested, if its growth trajectory remains the same, soon, it will be just how we all invest.


  • Since 1995, when the US SIF Foundation first measured the size of the US sustainable investment universe at $639 billion, assets have increased more than 25-fold, a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent. The 2020 Trends Report, which tracked data as of year-end 2019, found that investors are considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across $17 trillion of professionally managed assets, a 42 percent increase since 2018. (USSIF Report of Sustainable and Impact Investing Trends 2020)
  • Major financial institutions are acquiring ESG firms, the most notable is AMG purchasing Parnassus, the last independent ESG firm and one of the oldest. JP Morgan – OpenInvest and Vanguard- Just Invest.
  • PayPal invested $135 million in MyCnote, a woman led CDFI aggregator investing in BIPOC communites.
  • As ESG becomes the new trend, scrutiny will increase. What is greenwashing and how common is it? Greenwashing refers to ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ practices or products, while ignoring their total contribution to climate change and or the Sustainable Development Goals such as biodiversity or environmental pollution. Greenwashing generally takes two main forms:
  • 1. Selective disclosure. This means advertising positive information regarding a product’s environmental performance while hiding the negative.
  • 2. Symbolic actions. These are claims that draw attention to minor issues without any accompanying meaningful action. (World Economic Forum 5/21)


  • Following an infusion of capital these entities are all working on standardizing impact measurements and more to move the inititative forward:
  • 0 Decibels, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, B Lab, BlueMark, AssuranceMark and Ceres, Climate Disclosure Standards Board, Center for Innovation at the University of California Hastings Law, Global Impact Investing Network, Impact Capital Managers, Impact Management Project, PolicyLink, The Predistribution Initiative and Toniic Institute

Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful

A preliminary report to the National Climate Task Force recommending a ten-year, locally led campaign to conserve and restore the lands and waters upon which we all depend, and that bind us together as Americans.

(US Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce and Council on Environmental Quality)

  • Create More Parks and Safe Outdoor Opportunities in Nature-Deprived Communities.
  • Support Tribally Led Conservation and Restoration Priorities.
  • Expand Collaborative Conservation of Fish and Wildlife Habitats and Corridors.
  • Increase Access for Outdoor Recreation.
  • Incentivize and Reward the Voluntary Conservation Efforts of Fishers, Ranchers, Farmers, and Forest Owners.
  • Create Jobs by Investing in Restoration and Resilience.

How Returning Lands to Native Tribes is Helping Protect Nature

From California to Maine, land is being given back to Native American tribes who are committing to managing it for conservation. Some tribes are using traditional knowledge, from how to support wildlife to the use of prescribed fires, to protect their ancestral grounds. BY JIM ROBBINS • JUNE 3, 2021


  • Read The Economic Case for Nature– the World Bank Publication-Economies rely on the flow of goods and services generated by nature (such as food, raw materials, pollination, water filtration and climate regulation), but nature is under unprecedented threat. The Economic Case for Nature, uses innovative economic modelling techniques to estimate how changes in select ecosystem services impact the economy, helping decision-makers understand the cost of inaction.The report also lays out options for nature-smart policies that reduce the risk of ecosystem collapse and are “win-win” in terms of biodiversity and economic outcomes.
  • How Will COVID-19 Change the Consumer– Accenture
  • Rivian rakes in $2.5 billion to commercialize electric pickups and SUVs– Impact Alpha
  • Greenbacker Capital- Investing in Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Adasina Social Capital ETF-Public Equities Screened for Social Justice Values
  • Check out this fun game The Road to Ten Gigatons Carbon Removal Scale Up Challenge