Newton gives you the lowdown on the most pressing ESG concerns during this pandemic.
- How a company handles this turbulent period may have a pronounced impact – positive or negative – on its reputation
- The move to remote working might have lasting ramifications on the way we do business
- The low price of oil is likely to expose the ‘greenwashers’, as renewables look less economically attractive
In the time of an international health emergency, incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis into an investment process is showing its worth, perhaps now more than ever. The speed and scale at which the coronavirus crisis is affecting companies and the societies in which they operate has no precedent, and is raising a broad spectrum of material ESG considerations, from labour management and brand reputation through to logistical matters such as holding annual general meetings (AGMs).
While many of these impacts, such as government-enforced shutdowns of business activities, are outside the control of companies themselves, the way they react to them will be vital for their survival through this period, and for how they emerge the other side. The oft-used term ‘corporate social responsibility’, a concept which previously seemed so peripheral to a company’s business model, suddenly has never felt so relevant.
With this in mind, we wanted to share our thoughts on some of the key issues we are taking into account in our analysis of companies, and in our engagement with them over this turbulent period.