Investing in global goals, long-termism, new performance data, and implications for corporate governance

Op-ed on measuring the effectiveness of investing in global goals; Interview with Jonathan Bailey and Robert Eccles on long-termism and the SDGs; A new study by Toniic on investors aligning with the SDGs; and the emergence of “the third stage of corporate governance” by James Hawley and Jon Lukomnik


In a report released in March, TIIP and the IRRCi provided guidance on how investors can begin to assess their influence in determining changes on global environmental and societal systems and the potential contribution of their efforts and investments. In an op-ed in NextBillion titled “It’s Time to Measure the Effectiveness of Investing in Global Goals” we explore that while some investors report how their investments relate to specific SDGs, they are not necessarily attempting to influence overall progress toward achievement of the goals or measuring the effectiveness of such attempts. From the op-ed: “So, in the case of climate change, the current challenge stems not simply from the fact that fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases. Rather, there is a more complex dilemma in that our global economic system is so dependent on fossil fuels as its predominant source of energy that it cannot adjust rapidly enough to prevent climate change from occurring. By changing the paradigm for energy production not only to renewables, for example, but to a diverse set of fuel sources, investors can create a system capable of adapting to unanticipated challenges. In this way, investors can influence the larger system so that it will not simply replace dependency on fossil fuels with dependency on another predominant source of energy.”

In case you missed it!

The following resources – interview with Jonathan Bailey and Robert Eccles on long-termism and the SDGs, a new study by Toniic on investors aligning with the SDGs, and the emergence of “the third stage of corporate governance” by James Hawley and Jon Lukomnik – serve as additional tools for system-level investors.

Interview: Investing for Returns Can Support Sustainable Development. At a recent conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Jonathan Bailey, the head of ESG investing for Neuberger Berman, interviewed leading sustainability academic Robert Eccles about his research on the opportunities and challenges faced by investors who simultaneously seek to deliver market-rate financial returns and support sustainable development. A key theme to emerge: the importance of long-termism. From the interview: “…long-termism came through in several ways-the “high sustainability” companies were more likely to identify issues and stakeholders that they believed would be important for their long-term success, their executives were more likely to talk about long-term issues during conference calls with analysts, and they were more likely to attract long-term investors. But the relative outperformance of the “high sustainability” portfolio also took a long-term investment horizon-five years or more before the two groups began to diverge.” Read more

T100: Powered Ascent: Evidence on investors aligning with the SDGs. How are investors aligning their investments with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? T100: Powered Ascent, Toniic’s second report in its longitudinal study of a global group of impact investors, has mapped this relationship for the first time. 100% impact is the new standard, and more investors than ever are sharing their road map of successes and challenges in creating social and environmental good while securing financial returns. Learn more here
The Third Stage of Corporate Governance. In a new op-ed James Hawley and Jon Lukomnik continue to explore the “third phase of corporate governance”, which “tries to improve risk-adjusted return through the use of systems-level risk mitigation.” From the op-ed: “These and many other developments are not one-time efforts to deal with climate change, gender diversity, or governance standards but differentiated manifestations of the third stage of governance designed to reduce systemic risks.  This is complementary to the traditional trading activities of investment management, which focus on selecting securities to try to match or exceed the market risk and return.  Third stage governance, at long last, solves for the MPT conundrum and focuses directly on the systemic risks that contribute to beta.  The beta activism of these investors seeks to raise ESG standards and reduce systemic risks. In other words, the goal of third stage governance is to create a better beta.” Read the op-ed here
About The Investment Integration Project. TIIP helps institutional investors understand the feedback loops between their investments and the planet’s overarching systems – be they environmental, societal or financial – that make profitable investment opportunities possible. Once this relationship is understood, TIIP provides investors with the tools to help manage the impacts of their investment policies and practices on these systems. More information is available at


Previous Post
Investing in global impact: Who is doing what, well, and better
Next Post
Op-Ed: Why we need workforce disclosure that accounts for the entire employment footprint

Related Posts