Covid-19 is accelerating ESG investing and corporate sustainability practices

George Kell, founding director of the UN Global Compact, writes that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is driving even greater interest in sustainable investing. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is now estimated to be worth more than $30 trillion USD, and COVID-19 sell-offs have not stopped its growth.

Kell argues that new technologies, the environment, and social norms are three forces that have always impacted ESG investing, but the COVID-19 pandemic is now forcing us to reevaluate each of these things. Digital technologies are being boosted as more people work from home, while ongoing public health crises have made it clear that the health of both people and markets are dependent on their surroundings. Finally, social norms and issues that have always existed are being made clearer now, forcing policymakers to confront the possibility of better laws and outcomes that will also drive sustainability.

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