Press release: High Meadows Institute and KKS Publish Report that Sheds Light on Sustainability in Capital Markets

April 4, 2019

For immediate release

LONDON—KKS Advisors and the High Meadows Institute have published a report which brings insight to long-term trends regarding the incorporation of environmental, social, and governance issues in capital markets.

Since the High Meadows Institute published a survey on the state of ESG integration in Capital Markets in 2015, interest and engagement with ESG in capital markets has gained enormous traction. ESG assets under management now total $30 trillion, up from $23 trillion in 2016, and are projected to grow to $35 trillion by 2020.

The first version of this report was published in January 2016, using 2015 data. The report offered a landscape analysis of the mainstream capital market ecosystem and the views and practices of its key stakeholders around the issue of long-term value creation. Since then, the role of investors in proactively shaping corporate practices is gaining more attention as environmental, social and governance issues (ESG) and responsible investment become mainstream, new responsible investment-focused regulations and frameworks have been implemented, and shifting demographics are putting pressure on capital market stakeholders to change their practices. There have also been some counter-trends at play, challenging stakeholders from focusing more on long-term value creation.

The report explores some of the key drivers of change between 2015 and 2018, the different capital market stakeholders, and the barriers to further progress. The report tracks many of the same actors over time. An additional stakeholder group was also added this year: Index Providers and Exchange-Traded Funds. 

“This new report provides the best landscape of how capital markets are evolving to integrate ESG issues,” said George Serafeim, co-founder of KKS Advisors and professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. “From asset managers and owners, to investment consultants, credit rating agencies and stock exchanges, [it’s a] must read for anyone interested in sustainable investing.”

The desk research involved collecting publicly available information from company websites, company reports (annual reports, sustainability reports), Principles for Responsible Investment Transparency Reports, industry reports and academic literature. Click here to read the report.