Instant Karma Newsletter 8.12.20
  • Big 2Q pushes ESG assets under management over $1 trillion for the first time, but studies show some companies with strong ESG scores did not fare any better in the pandemic than others. 

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The narrative about ESG’s pandemic resilience got a little bit more nuanced this week. 

The record amounts of capital investors are injecting into sustainable investment funds — a whopping $171 billion between April and June alone — pushed ESG investments over the $1 trillion mark for assets under management for the first time. ESG investments, after all, look like the safest bet for investors with less interest in waiting out the recession with passive products.

ESG is not outperforming across all asset classes, however. A new analysis found that companies with strong ESG credentials saw their high-yield bonds outperform the broader market because they were insulated from the drops in oil prices, as oil companies are categorically excluded from ESG portfolios. Riskier companies with good ESG scores did not fare any better in the economic collapse back in March. 

In Other News: Tesla of the Sea, CDFI roundup

Education and employment training for girls around the world is a critical impact investment, according to the head of UNICEF. Here’s a roundup of community investment vehicles and of partnerships among institutional investors. The principles adopted by signatories of the Charter of Investors for Impact lead to high-risk, high-reward results. Racial equity is about giving Black employees power, not just hiring them. It was only a matter of time before someone would call their electric speedboat the Tesla of the Sea

Levity Break

Even if you do not listen to the podcast My Favorite Murder, this animation of a listener’s hometown story about hippos may still make you question all those hippo ballerina stories.