Quartz, December 13: The world of sustainable and socially responsible finance lacks structure and standards. Without these, there’s little to protect against “greenwashing”—firms and fund managers saying they are adhering to ESG principles without following through on them. There are no firm definitions of what counts as ESG investing, which allows many to make it so expansive that it becomes nearly meaningless. (The EU is trying to combat this.) The industry needs a gatekeeper.
Erika Karp is skeptical of ESG rankings and the reports that put huge numbers on the size of the sustainable investing industry. “I always worry, is there an overstatement about what’s really going on?” she said about these reports. The quality of analysis used to determine if an investment is sustainable is “too light” and, in general, the data used by the industry is poor, she added.
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