Investors, Business Increase ‘Green Policy’ Focus

Following the UN summit on climate change in New York last week, the focus on businesses’ green policies continues to grow. The latest trend: “making it more costly for businesses and ordinary people to pollute,” reports the Associated Press.

But lately, the push to connect business and the environment comes not just from environmentalists, but from businesses themselves. The report continues: “Business leaders representing trillions of dollars in revenue and retirement savings say they worry that global warming threatens the long-term value of their investments, and they want world leaders to adopt policies that would provide a financial incentive to people to clean up their act.”

And now, investors are getting in on the action. CNBC reports that just last week “MSCI launched its Global Low Carbon Target Indexes, which complement an existing set of indexes that weigh stocks based on their carbon emissions. The new indices will favor companies that have low carbon exposure and emissions.”

“Earlier this month, MSCI brought its Low Carbon Leaders instruments to market; the indexes exclude companies with the highest carbon footprint. The firm also has a Global Environment Index that channels money into companies that derive 50 percent or more of sales from green products and services.”

In fact, if you happen to be in Boston today, Dr. Thomas Kuh, MSCI Executive Director and Head of ESG Indexes is speaking at the Boston Carbon Risk Forum at Harvard Law School on September 29, 2014: “The conference throws light on carbon risk, fossil fuel divestment, and the appropriate policy responses from local government, state government and other institutional investors. The audience includes State and local elected officials, government treasurers and financial staff, pension board members, and other decision-makers.”