From: , Green Money Journal, More from this Affiliate
Published September 15, 2017 09:39 AM

The Future of SRI

Eight years ago I received the call asking me to consider joining Trillium Asset Management as CEO. Since that time, we have seen more interest than ever in the field of sustainable investing from a wide variety of institutions, mainstream money managers, and families often driven by women and millennials, bringing assets over to impact. But we are also keenly aware that since the election, the new Administration is actively working to dismantle many of the key policy initiatives we have advocated over the last 35 years. So we are at an interesting crossroad. Looking out over the horizon, I see six emerging trends that I believe shed light on the future of sustainable investing.

•  CEO Accountability
•  Companies taking a stand on policy
•  Higher expectations for money managers
•  Higher votes for ESG proposals
•  Greater attacks on shareholder rights
•  Need for measuring impact of advocacy and policy

CEO Accountability

Historically many corporate CEOs led by decree with a certain imperiousness that shaped the thinking of the board and shareholders. As shareholders are increasingly influenced by a broader set of factors than a simple quarterly earnings announcement — understanding the long-term impact of key ESG issues, we expect the balance of power to shift. We believe shareholders will be leading the way, that the board will be more attentive to shareholder demands, and that ultimately CEOs will understand that they work on behalf of shareholders and other constituents who care about long-term sustainability. The successful CEO of the future will not be exclusively focused on short-term quarterly earnings but will have predominate interest in building long-term sustainable business models.

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