Experts Urge Companies To Focus On Sustainable ESG Policies

By Clement Alphonsus

Experts have urged listed firms to adopt sustainable Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies to bring in investments and grow their businesses.

According to the experts who spoke at a webinar organised by the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), in partnership with Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), aside from offsetting the negative effects of environmental challenges, sustainability has become a major tool deployed by portfolio, asset managers and other investment advisers to recommend profitable companies for their clients.

Chairman, Bond Forum and Capital Markets Pathway Qualifications Assessment Board, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) in the United Kingdom, Neil Brown, noted that there was a need for companies to entrench sustainability in their businesses to promote good governance and community relations.

Delivering a paper titled ‘Sustainability in Nigeria’s economy, Capital Markets and Investment Products’, Brown said companies should also collaborate with stakeholders to raise awareness, build capacity and promote action on sustainability.

He said regulators expected companies to be transparent on their sustainability credentials as real actions can be under-reported through green washing tactics and their variants.

Brown noted that physical and transition risks would drive changing valuations for sectors and stocks while urging investment advisers to ascertain what drives the appetite of their clients in any investment opportunity.

“Some investors may be driven by part or whole of sustainability. Investment advisers must look for a measure that matches their clients’ objectives.

Chartered MCSI, CISI Assistant Director, Global Business Development, Helena Wilson said sustainability and the role that the financial services profession has to play in the route to net zero is now a crucial topic for investors and businesses globally.

She added that opportunities to enhance learning in the ESG area are becoming very essential.