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Sustainability Matters

Sustainability Takeaways From the Morningstar Investment Conference

What we learned at the Morningstar Investment Conference.

Sustainable investing was a prominent topic at last week's Morningstar Investment Conference. We had a workshop on the Morningstar Sustainability Rating, a panel of portfolio managers who run intentionally sustainable funds, and a general session with leading experts in the field. Here are the key take-aways:

Sustainable investing is rapidly becoming part of the investment mainstream. In contrast to what used to be known as socially responsible investing, or SRI, which was something of a niche activity, what we call sustainable investing today has more widespread appeal to investors of all stripes. Institutional investors and many asset managers increasingly believe that an evaluation of how well companies are managing their environmental and social challenges, as well as their corporate governance practices, should be part of any well-rounded investment analysis. Individuals who practice sustainability as consumers, in the workplace and at home, are saying they want to incorporate sustainability into their investments. According to Hilary Irby, who runs Morgan Stanley's Investing for Impact Initiative, large majorities of women and younger investors feel this way.