To what extent and how can capitalist structures and processes foster, encourage, or facilitate social and environmental responsibility in business? This question is a vigorously debated issue with a long history, particularly given the increasing influence of, and research on, sustainable investment.
In recent years, sustainable investment practices have increasingly gained importance in capital markets. In fact, stock market data show that sustainable investments have reached US$ 10.6 trillion globally.
However, many examples can be found which illustrate that, in spite of increasing concerns about environmental and closely related social and governance issues, there has not been a significant global shift towards greater sustainability. The 3rd European Responsible Investment & Institutions Conference will address this situation and intends to broaden the academic debate about sustainable finance. Contributions to the conference may cover (but are not limited to) the following research questions:
- What are the contemporary sustainable investment practices, and how effective are they in terms of their contribution to sustainable development?
- How do individual market participants react to sustainable investment products? Do the characteristics of these “sustainable” investors differ from those of regular investors?
- Is the filing of shareholder proposals on environmental and social issues an effective mechanism for investors? And, if so, which investors are most likely to have an impact?
- How do ESG signals affect financial markets? What is the impact of institutional entrepreneurs on the viability of ESG investing?
- To what extent do the trends in sustainable investing call for changes in corporate governance structures?
- What are effective (or ineffective) corporate strategies to attract capital from sustainability-oriented investors?
- What is the role of sustainability-related investment recommendations from security analysts and rating agencies for firms and investors?
- What theoretical perspectives or typologies can be identified for different investment styles (e.g., impact investments)?
- What are the myths and realities of sustainable investments? What are the validity challenges inherent in ESG data screens?
- How can ESG criteria best be applied to other asset classes beyond publicly traded securities (e.g., corporate bonds)?