There are no side effects – just effects… [Side effects] are just a sign that the boundaries of our mental models are too narrow, our time horizons too shortProfessor John Sterman, Director of MIT System Dynamics Group
Sustainability is becoming an ever-more-important theme for the investment industry – indeed, the ‘slow but unstoppable’ sustainability train has now left the station, and is picking up speed. Sustainability is a subject close to the heart of the Thinking Ahead Institute and we have worked on a number of related initiatives since our beginnings in 2015. Much of our work focuses on equipping investment organisations to have a holistic and actionable understanding of sustainable investing and how they create value for wider stakeholders such as society and the planet. We do this through providing easy to navigate tools and guidelines, enabling better alignment of mission and broadening the focus of measurement.
Forum posts (members only)
What’s love got to do with it?
The power of organisational culture to navigate climate change
Heart knowledge | what’s love got to do with it?
Sustainability and climate change | project guide The +1.5C portfolio
Sustainability disclosure – the need for a common language
If you want to see change, you can stop counting at ‘3’
The 4-3-2-1 PIN code for a more sustainable economyPast returns aren’t even a good guide to the past
Fiduciary duty and the impact of investment decisions
Climate change as framed by asset owners
Bathtubs, intergenerational fairness and the sustainability end game
We were proud to be a finalist at the Finance for the Futures 2019 awards, for the category of Driving change through education, training and academia.
The recent ‘shock of net zero’ has newly alerted the private sector to the scale and pace of transformative change now required to avert not just climate change, but broader ecological disaster. This shock has shone a harsh light on current efforts, prompting rising scepticism about the sufficiency of ESG, and the thinking that underlies it.
Over four sessions, the series evaluates the progress we are making as a global society to become sustainable, explore the deeper solutions to which systems thinking points, and reflect on the actions business and finance might take to promote systems solutions to build a sustainable economy and culture.
Even though many investment organisations have already made a net-zero commitment, it is our belief that:
- The implications of those commitments are not yet fully understood, and
- The accompanying actions have not yet all been discovered.
The working group set out to build a framework to help asset owners establish and execute a pathway to achieve their climate ambitions. They developed a six-step action plan to guide asset owners on their climate journey and produced a series of six papers, one detailing each step (taking the IIGCC net-zero framework as a starting point).
A series of papers written following the research and discussion conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute’s investing for tomorrow working group. The key objective of this working group is to produce research outputs that can usefully guide investors to establish and set a pathway to achieve their climate ambitions. Beyond this, we hope the outputs help them to become a driving force in transforming the global economy to be compatible with the 1.5C climate target.
A series of papers written following the research and discussion conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute’s 1.5°C investing working group. The key objective of this working group is to produce research outputs that can usefully guide investors’ behaviours to ultimately become a driving force in transforming global economy to be compatible with the 1.5°C climate target while in the same time fulfilling their fiduciary duties.
An investors guide to communicating value created
Featuring case studies from seven global investment organisations, this paper provides practical guidelines to help organisations define purpose and document beliefs; measure impact; and communicate the value created for stakeholders.
Exploring the purpose of the investment industry and the agents within it, and how the industry’s value proposition to end savers can be developed and improved.
We propose a vision of what the investment industry should be, and the duty it should take on, and call more stakeholders to the value creation boundary – in particular the planet, and ideally wider society too.
Aiming to help asset owners develop fully-rounded beliefs on sustainability, we include a survey to test benchmark the strength of their beliefs against peers to see if and where they can create an investment edge.
This paper focuses on sustainability risk management and portfolio construction, which are the parts investors tend to struggle to apply the most.
A series of case studies from the sustainability portfolio construction working group.