Isabelle Cabie, global head of responsible development at Candriam, has told Citywire Switzerland about the challenges of ESG investing at the Geneva Forum for Sustainable Investment.
She said: ‘An increasing number of investors want to measure the impact of their investments and are interested in getting the data in order to evaluate it properly.’
However, she also noted that ‘we still observe disparities among countries in ESG data disclosure.’
According to Cabie, there is a need for standardised information, which should be made available to investors. The lack of data makes it harder for Candriam to evaluate companies’ level of impact.
She also believes that evaluations should be made on the basis of different indicators, such as the business model of a company, which has to be innovative.
‘Most people these days ask us to avoid companies that use fossil fuels. What they ignore is that in most traditional investments, if they do so, they also prevent exposure to solutions in energy transition because there are not a lot of pure players in renewable energies,’ she said.
According to Cabie, balancing the environmental, social and governance factors is not easy, especially because in some cases it implies being dependent on political decisions.
What’s more, clients are still concerned about long-term performance. Cabie said: ‘Women and millennials are particularly interested in sustainable investing, but they also want returns.’