For the times they are (still) a-changin’
Recently, we published the 35th issue of our ECOFACT Quarterly – a number that makes us proud.
So much has changed – and continues to change – since the idea of the ECOFACT Quarterly was born 2012. The title of this editorial is derived from the editorial of the 27th issue, in which we discussed unprecedented changes in the regulatory environment(1). We also explained why the lack of granular, time-bound transition roadmaps for the real economy made it difficult for financial professionals to understand transition risks and identify market opportunities.
Let me illustrate how much that situation has now changed: since Norway’s announcement of plans to ban the sale of fossil-fueled cars as of 2025, the market share of electric vehicles has already reached about 60%. This will affect the automotive industry’s entire value chain. In any industry, comparable policies will have tremendous implications for the value chain, so knowing how these changes will look allows the financial sector to engage with clients and investee companies – and to analyze the opportunities and risks they face.
Rapid mainstreaming also brings about major change. Importantly, this is not just about people jumping on the bandwagon: when growing numbers of decision-makers need to examine sustainability issues, real change will follow. Mirjam Staub-Bisang, who leads Blackrock in Switzerland, explained in a recent interview(2):
“In the last two years, there has been a kind of tectonic shift: sustainability is now relevant for every corporate executive, every investment manager and every pension fund. In fact, anywhere that money is invested. The broad demand for transparency is forcing companies to show what they are doing in terms of sustainability and how they are mitigating the risks involved. In 2011, only 20 percent of S&P 500 companies published sustainability reports. Now it’s 90 percent. And once something is measured, you have to manage it.”
This tectonic shift allows us to look forward to the 70th issue of the ECOFACT Quarterly with a certain optimism. Over the past three months, Anna Reimann, who has overseen the production of the ECOFACT Quarterly since 2012, has been handing over responsibility for the publication to Jenifer Guillermin. Jen has worked on the ECOFACT Quarterly since 2012 and will ensure that it continues to evolve.
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