By Steve Waygood. For generations policy makers have sought to align the interests of the financial markets and society. Nowhere is this tension more keenly and persistently felt than in the relentlessness of the capital markets in allocating capital to short-term, unsustainable uses, in combination with policy makers’ need to plan for the long term and tackle a range of environmental and social issues such as the nexus of issues surrounding poverty, climate change, fresh water and human rights. The purpose of this article is to provide the people involved in policy making with an overview of how the equity market is structured, as well as some specific suggestions as to how they can move the capital markets to a more sustainable basis.
Steve Waygood is the Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors and leads Aviva Investors’ Global Responsible Investment team. This team is responsible for integrating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues across all asset classes and regions of the c. £250 billion of assets under management. Steve founded the Sustainable Stock Exchange initiative as well as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition, which is aiming to catalyze a UN Convention promoting enhanced corporate transparency and integrated reporting. In 2011 he received the Yale Rising Star in Corporate Governance Award, and he was among the Financial News Top 100 Rising Stars in 2009.
The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and an agenda for action. Edited by Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram. London, New York 2016, pp. 229-245