Shoosmiths Offers ESG Investment Market Insights
Earlier this month, Pitchbook unveiled its 2023 Sustainable Investment Survey, offering a comprehensive analysis of emerging trends in impact investing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks.
The survey sparks discussions on the delicate balance between profit-driven investments and purpose-driven initiatives.
Shoosmiths' banking, finance, and private equity experts delve into the survey's findings, shedding light on industry perspectives and market insights surrounding ESG.
Rebecca Mauleverer, partner and head of Shoosmiths' national banking and finance team, commends PitchBook's insightful results, echoing the market's trends. Notably, a conspicuous divergence emerges as investment firms either wholeheartedly embrace ESG or maintain a cautious stance.
She highlights a noteworthy observation: the 'E' in ESG remains the focal point, surpassing the 'S' and 'G' in prominence. Energy and climate-related concerns dominate the 'Impact Investing' agenda, underscoring the need for broader international standards to address ESG data measurement, reporting, and benchmarking challenges on a global scale.
The apprehension that sustainable investments might compromise returns also looms as a substantial obstacle, with a clear divide between those forging ahead and those observing from the sidelines.
Amit Nayyar, partner and head of Shoosmiths' national private equity team, emphasises the intricate landscape shaped by heightened regulations in PE investment.
The regulatory landscape introduces both hurdles and opportunities, particularly for European GPs aligned with the EU's Sustainable Development Agenda.
The Taxonomy Regulation (EU) 2020/852, a cornerstone of this framework, establishes uniform sustainability criteria and disclosure obligations. ESG integration, at varying stages across GPs, emerges as a sector-wide journey, democratising responsible practices and enhancing the industry's reputation. Fulfilling these standards grants the coveted "environmentally sustainable" label, attracting investments aligned with responsible initiatives.
Liz Sweeney, partner and head of Shoosmiths' real estate finance team, concurs with her colleagues, finding congruence between the report's insights and real-world observations.
She echoes the emphasis on 'E,' as net zero and climate change take precedence. The real estate sector assumes a pivotal role in addressing these challenges, yet substantial gaps hinder consistent and effective action.
Challenges span from data deficiencies and benchmark standards to policy support and skills shortages. The intricate cost dynamics of sustainability measures within transactions persist, prompting debates over cost allocation and financial incentives. Liz notes the nascent progress of the 'S' in ESG, acknowledging its complexities and underscoring the importance of tailored approaches.
In the realm of investment and lending, the value proposition of sustainability products remains at odds with retrofitting expenses. The absence of clear incentives and industry standards hampers substantial change, especially given the availability of financing for non-green assets. Despite the growing significance of the 'S,' its impact proves intricate to gauge and implement effectively.
Within the real estate sector, the focus shifts to societal impact, where considerations of built environments' influence on daily lives come to the fore. As 'S' efforts gain momentum, Liz expresses optimism for the development of clear benchmarks and reporting requirements, akin to those established for E.'
In essence, PitchBook's survey and Shoosmiths' expert insights converge, highlighting the industry's transformative journey toward sustainable investing while navigating challenges and embracing opportunities for lasting change.
To view and compare company ESG Ratings and Sustainability Reports across sectors, follow our Company ESG Profiles page.