A smoke bomb named Covid-19 came out of nowhere. Companies scrambled to evade its enveloping fumes. Some listed companies rushed to take themselves private. Others implemented split-working, social-distancing, and work-from-home arrangements. A growing list of unfortunate companies filed for insolvency. And there were the ones caught misbehaving. Notable mentions include the Chinese coffee barista chain incorrectly named Luckin Coffee and the German payment processor named Wirecard.
If the pandemic taught companies one lesson, it is this: ESG is now a matter of survival. Corporates of higher ESG standards are better prepared for risks and are better received by investors. According to the recent poll conducted by the Asset Benchmark Research (ABR), over 75% of the 310 surveyed portfolio managers across the region believe ESG is either moderately important, important, or very important. In 2017, only 39% of managers included ESG factors in their investment decisions.
Despite the increased investor attention, ESG compliant assets in the market are in short supply. As suggested in a June 2020 survey of more than 230 nominated Astute Investors, part of ABR’s select group of top investors in the region, 63% of them were struggling to find the appropriate assets that meet their ESG requirement. Only 17% of them were able to meet their needs. And still, a fifth of them had not bothered searching for ESG investments.
As 2020 elevated the importance of ESG and Covid-19 exposed issues on sustainability, The Asset ESG Corporate Awards 2020, a global programme recognizing the advancement of ESG best practice, is pleased to launch The Asset ESG Jade Award. This new award recognizes an exclusive and select group of companies whose attributes, as voted by investors and stakeholders, have the distinction, durability, and constancy that are universally associated with this highly esteemed mineral.
As nominations open for The Asset ESG Corporate Awards, the board of editors welcomes submissions for the Platinum, Gold and Titanium Awards of ESG Excellence with our usual requirements. For The Asset ESG Jade Award there are additional requirements that involve access to the board of directors, a minimum of five investors, and a third-party certification agency. For more details, please click here.