Investors want portfolios that drive positive environmental change

Investors want more portfolios that include companies that are not damaging the environment and are driving positive change, according to Calvert Research and Management, an Eaton Vance affiliate.

However, there would be two emerging trends that would be critical for investors to understand, John Streur, president and chief executive of Calvert research said.

First of all, there would be a real convergence in terms of companies adopting activities that bolster their environmental, social and governance (ESG) image. And secondly, there would be an emerging group of companies worldwide that were doing a very good job at the critical issues of environmental efficiency, mitigating their damaging effects on the climate.

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Additionally, these companies would also stay focused on building diversity and inclusiveness within their companies, Steur said.

Also, corporate engagement is expected to continue to grow and increase in relevance.

“As investment managers, we should be able to do our proprietary research. When we dig deep at the company level, we can understand which companies are just doing a better job filling out the investor surveys and making themselves look good, versus those companies that have operationalized ESG performance,” he added.

There's been a tremendous move toward low cost, passive investing. For asset managers to really justify value-added fees, clients today expect them to do more than just move in and out of stocks.

“They want investment management firms that can drive positive change at the companies in which they've invested. That's where we see investment management going this year.”

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