Defining ESG: Evolution not revolution


ESG investing seems all the rage, but what does this focus on environmental, social and governance criteria actually mean?

ESG practices among investors and institutions vary widely, and what is seen to constitute ESG investing has evolved over time; today’s approaches to ESG investing range from simple exclusion lists to activist strategies.

What is ESG? What is ESG?

Finding an answer to that question is much harder than it ought to be. Environmental, social and governance factors cover an extremely broad range of issues from avoiding investing in tobacco companies to financing clean water initiatives. The fact that different labels such as sustainable, responsible, ethical and impact investing all fit under the ESG umbrella complicates finding a definition that encapsulates all the different facets of ESG.


  • Climate Change
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Resource depletion, including water
  • Waste and pollution
  • Deforestation


  • Working conditions, including slavery and child labour
  • Local communities, including indigenous communities
  • Conflict regions
  • Health and safety
  • Employee relations and diversity


  • Executive pay
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Political lobbying and donations
  • Board diversity and structure
  • Tax strategy



The purpose of this site is to serve as a daily news source and learning point for ESG, SRI and Impact investment trends and to promote awareness of environmental, social and governance issues and opportunities. 

The information provided by this site is not a recommendation to invest or purchase products. This site does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or investment needs, all of which should be considered prior to making an investment decision. We encourage seeking professional financial advice before making any investment decision.

 By Responsible-Investors ©