By Matthew J. Kiernan Ph.D.

For company and traders, there’s doubtless approximately it: The clever funds goes green...and the starting to be stream towards ecologically forward-thinking businesses is instantly turning into larger and larger. What might be unbelievable to a few is that socially in charge businesses aren’t simply doing the best factor for the surroundings, also they are paying off financially, making their traders cash and extending the base line. making an investment in a Sustainable international bargains transparent evidence, via proof, figures, and difficult documentation, that “going eco-friendly” leads on to greater inventory industry performance...and that traders and firms who forget about it is going to, actually, lose cash. The publication finds the main robust international mega­trends—from the continuing specialise in rising markets to traditional source depletion—which are remodeling the very foundation on which businesses will compete, and gives an method of sustainability-enhanced making an investment necessary to either traders and corporations. progressive and sponsored by means of indisputable facts, this booklet indicates the transparent hyperlink among sustainability projects and uncomplicated profitability.

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The clear implication was that if I could not, the sustainable investment hypothesis could then be safely banished to the intellectual scrap heap where it presumably belonged. My response was two-fold: first, no I could not demonstrate a precise, quantified, cause-and-effect link, and any attempt to do so would be both disingenuous and dangerously simplistic and reductionist; and two, could he kindly provide any similar proof of the precise impact—and causality—of any of the traditional investment factors in which he placed such unwavering faith?

For example, it is widely accepted on Wall Street that “management quality” is the number one determinant of the financial performance of companies. Fair enough; I would concur. Wall Street analysts are fre- WHAT’S TA K E N US SO LONG? 29 quently quoted in the business press commenting that a particular company is “well managed”—or that it isn’t. Precisely what constitutes “good management” in a given industry sector at a particular point in time is rarely, if ever, explicitly articulated. As near as I can make out, the most compelling evidence of “good management” to most Wall Street analysts is that the company “made its numbers” for the most recent year, quarter, or 15 minutes.

The fact that no single factor or sets of factors “works” all the time, in all industry sectors, and under all market conditions in the traditional investment world either is apparently neither here nor there. Allow me to provide just one concrete example. The price/earnings ratio (p/e) has acquired an almost iconic status among mainstream investors as a virtually indispensable part of their analytical toolkit. Indeed, it is a ubiquitous and largely unquestioned factor in nearly every investment decision regarding publicly traded securities.

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