Sustainability in the world of investments and capital allocation is the focus of this edition of the Business Day Spotlight.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined from London by Katherine Davidson, portfolio manager for the Schroders ISF Sustainable Growth fund.

ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing refers to a class of investing that is also known as “sustainable investing.”

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Davidson says it’s unlikely people will still be talking about ESG in 10 years.

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

She argues that sustainability has moved from being niche to being the norm, as environmental and ethical concerns “now influence how we shop, eat, travel and inevitably, how we invest.”

Davidson says values are fast becoming “as important as value,” maintaining that in a decade’s time it will be implicit in any kind of strategy.

Moreover, the Covid-19 crisis has underlined the symbiotic relationship between a company and its stakeholders, illustrating how good “corporate karma” can help a business weather a storm, Davidson says. Only companies with strong stakeholder management will survive and thrive in the long term, she adds.

Davidson also talks about how seriously those in the investment community may or may not be taking the issue of ESG, but highlights that her own team has grown over the last decade, together with client interest in it.

Topics of discussion include the size and scope of the Schroders Sustainable Growth fund, how investors can review alpha opportunities, identifying sustainable companies and the need for a proprietary approach for investors, sustainability considerations for investors, and an outlook on the factors likely to drive sustainability in future.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a TimesLIVE Podcasts production.


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