For five days of the year, a sleepy little town in the Swiss Alps plays host to the world’s most powerful people. This is Davos, the World Economic Forum (WEF), where movers and shakers can also be skaters and skiers as they switch between the conference rooms and the snowy peaks of one of Switzerland’s largest ski resorts.
In 2020, the main theme, spearheaded by 17-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg is how to make businesses more climate friendly. The environment is the star player, as “Climate change”, “positive” and “impact” trend on Twitter and severe threats to the climate account for the top five global risks this year, according to the WEF’s latest Global Risks report.
“The political landscape is polarized, sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning. This is the year when world leaders must work with all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate our systems of cooperation,” Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, said.
The Forum’s organizers chose sustainable investment as the overarching topic, a subject that’s not only of interest to the 119 billionaires and 53 heads of state attending the 50th conference, but increasingly a buzzword in businesses–and in private homes–across the developed world.
First referenced in a United Nations study in 2005, environmental, social and governance investment (ESG), was once a niche interest. Now it is on the lips of every clued-up investor.
Last year, S&P Dow Jones Indices launched the S&P 500 ESG Index, replicating the risks and returns of the S&P 500, while excluding companies that don’t meet specific ESG criteria such as investment in the production and sale of tobacco and “controversial weapons.”
But it’s not only green do-gooders who are signing up to invest ethically. Asset managers who were once wary of the presumed lower returns are now being persuaded to join the ESG investments club, following recent studies revealing that investing in sustainable assets is no less profitable than regular investments.
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How Do I Fit Into This?
“How do I fit into this?” you might be asking. “I’m a regular person with a little bit of money to invest.”
But even if you don’t have billions of dollars squirreled away in offshore bank accounts, you can still benefit from learning the basics of sustainable investment.
Related: How to Invest your First $1k
If you can learn how to make money, and feel good about doing it, isn’t it a win-win?
For a guide to the pros and cons of socially responsible investing, look no further than this article, where we explain what socially responsible investing is, who it’s for and the different kinds of socially responsible investing available.
For those keen beans among you, we top it off with five funds you should consider if you want to get started as soon as possible.
If robo advisors are your thing but you want one that will help you save the planet rather than commit a Terminator-style destruction, we have just the article you’re looking for.
Our guide to socially conscious robo advisors will help you to make that ROI–return on investment–while putting your money toward a more noble cause.
Ethically minded robo advisors allow you to pick thematic funds based on the issues that matter most to you, whether that’s your passion for the environment or racial and socio-economic diversity.
You might not have secured your spot at Davos but you can ensure you’re still part of the conversation.
WEF is a world away for most people for whom the privileges of the elites are but a distant fantasy. But not having a private jet should not preclude you from taking advantage of some of the brightest minds today. Climate change and sustainable investment is the talk of Davos–now Dough Roller is here to show you how to enjoy a slice of the environmental money pie.