Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings are often touted as the "stepping stone" to "impact investing"a way for investors to invest in companies that have a positive impact on society, the New York Times reports.
But that's not always the case.
"Very often they [companies in impact portfolio] have average governance, just started to look into their own scope one and scope two emissions, and they probably don't excel in terms of diversity and gender representation," Maria Teresa Zappia, head of sustainability and impact of Schroders Capital, told a sustainability conference in Oxford this month.
"But the products and services they have in the market are innovativethey increase access and generally push for cost efficiency and affordability."
And that's where the impact comes from.
"I think this is really where that the impact comes from," Zappia tells the Times.
She's not the only one skeptical of ESG ratings.
"At the end of the line, you can't really make sense of which tobacco company came on top of many sustainability rankings," Piet Klop, head of responsible investment at PGGM, the country's second-largest pension fund, tells the Times.
"That's where we lost our
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