Up until the late 1990s, the primary focus of investment decisions was a better financial return. Now, with the advent of sustainable finance, that focus is widening with the aim of providing not only better financial returns but a better world.
Today an ever-widening range of issues such as global warming, child welfare, human rights, transparency and bribery have become part of the equation for financial investors. Against this background, Environment, Social and Governance considerations (ESG) are increasingly relevant, driven by an enhanced awareness in society and regulatory changes. Many investors used to claim that the integration of such criteria into investment decisions reduced financial returns, but today there is general agreement that they enable higher performance.