Twenty major investment companies – including Banco do Brasil, Credit Suisse Group, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Morgan Stanley – have endorsed a Global Compact report and initiative on “connecting financial markets” to environmental, social and governance criteria, and agreed on steps to bring other actors in the financial world into accord on how these factors would become standard components in the analysis of corporate performance and investment decision-making. The 20 companies control $6 trillion in assets.
The report, entitled “Who Cares Wins”, was issued on 25 June 2004 at a summit meeting of the Global Compact. Anthony Ling, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, presented the report and the initiative at the Summit.
“Mainstream investment houses are increasingly coming to the conclusion that analyzing companies’ polices related to social and environmental issues must be central in their work since such commitments are fundamental in terms of risk management”, said Gavin Power, a senior advisor at the Global Compact. “This report represents a major sea change in approach vis-à-vis the financial community”.
A complementary report is also issued today by the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative, which contains 11 case studies of work in this field by investment companies.