11 July 2008 | New York City, US

Despite the surge in CSR reporting, ESG analysis and responsible investment activities in recent years, the corporate valuation mechanisms of capital markets appear to stubbornly remain indifferent with respect to the sustainability-related success or -failure of traded companies. Are market makers still unconvinced of the financial materiality of ESG factors or do they simply lack the information and instruments needed to truly integrate ESG factors into investment decision making? UNEP FI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) are organising workshops in investment hubs in developed and emerging markets, bringing together capital market actors via UNEP FI, including members of the UNEP FI Asset Management Working Group, and ‘investee’ companies via WBCSD. The aims are to develop a common view on sustainability value, to understand current gaps in communicating ESG information, and to improve the integration of ESG factors into company valuation. Western European pilot and scale-up workshops have been conducted in London and Montreux this year (please see the respective outcomes below). These will be followed by a US pilot gathering in New York on 11 July, kindly hosted by AMWG-member AIG Investments. The half day workshop will provide an overview of the issue, facilitate a discussion about what sustainable (ESG) value is, enable a feedback dialogue between investee companies and asset managers and conclude with a luncheon key note speech by Prof. Baruch Lev, ‘intangibles’ expert and professor at NYC Stern University. Workshops in Kuala Lumpur, Vienna, Geneva, Johannesburg and Tokyo are slated for the rest of the year. Let us know should you be interested in participating in this up-coming Workshop and/or the overall project.



valuation [at] unepfi.org