When does sustainability drive value?

The number of sustainable investment strategies has skyrocketed in recent years. So too has the number of academic studies on the subject. More than 2,000 research papers investigating sustainability factors in finance have been published since 2015.

Though a large and growing body of such research examines corporate sustainability factors, investors and other capital-markets participants can struggle to surface insights that are useful for financial decision-making. Of the most-downloaded academic papers on sustainable finance in the past five years, less than half were empirical studies of how sustainability impacts financial performance.1 Based on the 10 most-downloaded sustainable finance papers from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) between 2019 and 2022 Few of them are based on data that practitioners use. Even fewer focus on the investment implications of climate-related factors.

The Institute is curating a selection of academic research that can be useful to investors; research that speaks to the problems practitioners face in the investment process.

{ "seriesArray":[ { "name":"Sustainable Fund Launches", "data": [1860,1941,2990,3724,4280,5326,7610,5718] }, { "name":"Academic Papers on Sustainability Factors (ESG) in Finance", "data": [52,83,145,187,215,284,338,563], "papers":["Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality","Defining and Measuring Green Investments","The Consequences of Mandatory Corporate Sustainability Reporting","Can Sustainable Investing Save the World? Reviewing the Mechanisms of Investor Impact","Aggregate Confusion: The Divergence of ESG Ratings","Valuing ESG: Doing Good or Sounding Good?","Do Investors Care About Impact?","The End of ESG"], "authors":["Khan, Serafeim and Yoon","Inderst, Kaminker and Stewart","Ioannou and Serafeim","Berg, Heeb, Paetzold and Zeisberger","Berg, Kölbel and Rigobon","Cornell and Damodaran","Berg, Heeb, Paetzold and Zeisberger","Alex Edmans"], "paperLinks":["","","","","","","",""] } ] }
Source: MSCI Sustainability Institute and SSRN, September 2023