Fact or fiction: SI has no clear impact on society (Robeco)

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Sustainability investing has risen to become a high-profile form of managing money – but does it actually benefit anyone else? It can sometimes be difficult to show what positive impact it has on wider society, particularly if it is seen as coming at a cost.

An example of how green initiatives do not always lead to the intended results can be seen in Germany phasing out its nuclear power program following the 2011 disaster in Fukushima, Japan. While this in essence was a worthy cause, one side effect was that it made the country more reliant on its coal-fired power stations. This contradicted Germany’s energiewende (energy transition) program which aimed to reduce carbon, raising emissions instead.

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In the midst of a global pandemic, Apple announced one of the corporate world’s most ambitious environmental blueprints – to reduce the climate impact of every Apple device to net zero by 2030. The plan involves cutting 75 per cent of the company’s existing carbon footprint, not only for its own business but also across the manufacturing supply chain and product life cycle.

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