Sustainability and ESG are emerging as the largest growth areas in the investment industry. As a phrase that was only coined in 2005, ESG is now a key agenda item for organisational stakeholders. Regulators and governments are already asking for increased reporting and target-setting, but companies will also need to push further to bring about change aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement, Human Rights Act and other broader goals.
We believe recognising the impact of people who are at the forefront of these developments and industry trends is essential to create positive change. To this end, KPMG is delighted to sponsor the Sustainable and ESG Investment Woman of the Year Award, a new category for 2021.
The award recognises individuals driving their organisations to go above and beyond to create lasting change through combatting the climate crisis and enabling social impact and good governance. The women nominated for this award have thrived and made their mark in the industry to ensure that the right behaviours and standards are applied consistently. They have worked on new ways to consider social impact and deepened partnerships with clients to better align ESG preferences and goals.
We are proud of this award which recognises the achievements of women amongst our peers and in the investment industry. The drive and rigour required to lead in this landscape is what we aim to further.
Understanding value through impact and purpose
Whilst financial returns have historically driven investment decisions, there is now a greater move towards impact and purpose. The increased scope of value means that the returns we as businesses and individuals can receive are greater than ever. For the asset management sector, the move towards ESG has redefined what we think of as value.
Investment and financial services industries are enablers in the move towards a sustainable future - they directly affect all businesses, governments and individuals. There is increased pressure from customers and clients to create measurable impact.
Preparing for new risks and challenges
Alongside increased opportunity for impact, the risks are also higher. Given the high stakes, navigating this evolving market landscape is challenging for all leaders. The potential for greenwashing continues to be a topic of discussion as many investors have zero-tolerance for mistakes. Leaders face challenges in gathering sufficient and reliable data without which effective decisions cannot be made, with the added need to create full transparency for clients.
Dealing with these challenges asks for strong voices from across the board. The Sustainable and ESG Investment Woman of the Year Award is an initiative to support such voices. It not only puts the spotlight on inspirational women in the industry, but it is also in an area which we see as incredibly important for paving the path to our collective future. We hope that these women will be seen as role models by rising talent in the industry, encouraging more individuals to step into an exciting and meaningful space.
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