UNEP FI and WBCSD address the ESG inefficiency of Capital Markets in Emerging Economies – Part 1: South East Asia

In collaboration with Hosted by                

31 July 2008 | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Despite the surge in CSR reporting, ESG analysis and responsible investment activities in recent years, the corporate valuation mechanisms of capital markets appear to stubbornly remain indifferent with respect to the sustainability-related success or -failure of traded companies. Are market makers still unconvinced of the financial materiality of ESG factors or do they simply lack the information and instruments needed to truly integrate ESG factors into investment decision making? UNEP FI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) are organising workshops in investment hubs in developed and emerging markets, bringing together capital market actors via UNEP FI, including members of the UNEP FI Asset Management Working Group, and ‘investee’ companies via WBCSD. The aims are to develop a common view on sustainability value, to understand current gaps in communicating ESG information, and to improve the integration of ESG factors into company valuation. Western European pilot and scale-up workshops have been conducted in London and Montreux this year; the next gathering will be a US pilot workshop in New York on 11 July, kindly hosted by AIG Investments. Subsequently, the first workshop focused on emerging economies will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 31 July at the 2008 International Corporate Social Responsibility Conference. The half day workshop will provide an overview of the issue, facilitate a discussion about what sustainable (ESG) value represents in a booming South East Asian context, and enable a feedback dialogue between investee companies and asset managers from all major financial centres in the region: Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Singapore. Workshops in Vienna, Geneva, Johannesburg and Tokyo are slated for the rest of the year. You are an investment firm with fund management or product deployment activities in the region? Then let us know should you be interested in participating in this first-of-its-kind Workshop and/or the overall project.

Workshop Progression

Pilot workshops start dialogues in a particular market, generally with ESG investors (ESG/SRI/RI) on the one hand, and CSR officers of investee companies (CSR/sustainability/sustainable development) on the other. Pilots are then scaled-up to include more industry sectors and participants from the same audience, before eventually moving to the target dialogue engaging mainstream investors and investor relations officers of investee companies, with influence from ESG investors and CSR officers.

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valuation [at] kunsthaus-schwanheide.info