Ceres President Mindy Lubber explains for Forbes that although investors are ramping up their attention to sustainability, they still lag behind many corporations. GE's Ecomagination program is cited as a prime example.
Companies often point to investors as a reason why they’re not doing more on sustainability. “We’d like to do more … but mainstream investors just don’t care about it,” is the common refrain according to a survey by Accenture on CEO attitudes.
That’s starting to change. At a recent Wall Street meeting of 100 investor members of the $10 trillion Investors Network on Climate Risk sustainability leadership was the buzz.
“The theme of the day is how to move from warm words to action, to the realm of the practical,” exhorted CalPERS Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Corporate Governance, Anne Simpson. “Going to meetings and signing on to letters isn’t going to do anything unless we move the money.”
“There’s this theory that you have to pick one: economics or environmental performance,” saidMark Vachon, vice president of GE’secomagination. “That’s nonsense. Innovation is the way you can have both. Companies that don’t get this, really risk becoming irrelevant to the marketplace.”