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Topic of the month September 2020: Corona shapes sustainable investment positively




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Corona shapes sustainable investment positively

By Adrie Heinsbroek, Head of Responsible Investments of NN Investment Partners

 

New "unknowns" must be considered
Will the corona pandemic become the catalyst that drives the change towards a more sustainable world?
What 
role will governments, companies and individuals then play? NN Investment Partners identifies new "unknowns"
that responsible investors increasingly need to consider in their decisions.


How will governments govern?
A central question: How much influence will governments have in the coming decade? The stimulus packages
that have been adopted to combat the economic consequences of the Corona crisis are unprecedented. But
will these government programs be linked to sustainability strategies, such as climate change measures and
carbon reduction initiatives? Will governments intervene more decisively and use sanctions and incentives
to influence corporate behavior? They also need to work more closely together at the international level to
achieve climate and other sustainability goals.


Multi-stakeholder model for companies?
Companies are best placed to drive the transformation to a more sustainable economy. The unknowns at the
corporate level are determined by the trade-off between a "shareholder first" approach and a multi-stakeholder
model. Will more sustainable value creation become a lasting trend? If the multi-stakeholder perspective becomes
the engine of value creation, non-financial parameters will become a determining factor in assessment
and forecasting. Such a shift will also affect the role ESG factors play in assessing financial value.


Does increased awareness change the behavior of the individual?
The Corona crisis has raised people's awareness of climate and social issues and the effects of their behavior.
But will this heightened awareness be reflected in new patterns of behavior? Will sustainability become a privilege
for those who can afford it and thus pose a threat to a more inclusive global society?


Adrie Heinsbroek, Principle Responsible Investment at NN Investment Partners, concludes: „There are many
challenges ahead and many contrasts to overcome, but there are also connecting elements. It is obvious that
effective evaluation requires a broader perspective. One must think beyond purely financial aspects. This is becoming
an increasingly important trend in measuring both economic and social progress. As investors, we have
the means to positively influence this trend".


            


About NN Investment Partners

NN Investment Partners is the asset manager of NN Group N.V., a publicly traded company listed on Euronext Amsterdam. NN Investment Partners is headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands and manages approximately EUR 271 bln* (USD 297 bln*) in assets for institutions and individual investors worldwide. NN Investment Partners employs around 1,000 staff and has offices in 15 countries, servicing clients across Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

NN Investment Partners is part of NN Group N.V., a publicly traded company.

* Figures as of 31 March 2020


 

 


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