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Chapter 6. Investors and the Power of Markets

6. Investors and the Power of Markets

The preceding chapter outlined a framework and set of principles and practices that an organization, particularly a public corporation, can use to effectively manage its ES&G issues and activities. This chapter suggests that implementing this approach, while entailing considerable effort, can be justified. It has been shown to be effective, and it creates the conditions required for the firm to create new financial value. More specifically, I delve into the workings of our capital markets, and I develop and explore one of the major themes of this book: capital markets are reshaping how companies are approaching sustainability. They will drive corporate America toward a more sustainable future, whether or not it is ready to go there. To further support this argument, and particularly for your benefit if you remain unconvinced of the value proposition presented by sustainable business practices, Chapter 7 reviews the established empirical evidence that addresses this issue.

This chapter explores in depth why investors might have an interest in corporate sustainability behavior. It also looks at whether financial market actors appear to consider sustainability endpoints and, if so, how and to what degree. This chapter also explores how market forces appear to be shaping interest in and the practice of corporate sustainability activities. I will show that financial community actors are playing a substantial and growing role. I also will offer some suggestions for appropriate responses on the part of those working in and for companies on sustainability issues.


  

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