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Surveying The Investment World Through An ESG Lens: A Snapshot Of Key Topics From The U.S.

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Franklin Templeton


  • ESG is now part of the investment mainstream.
  • Our experience, including feedback from events such as the RI Americas Conference and the SASB Symposium, indicates clients are increasingly looking for an integrated approach to ESG from investment managers.
  • We think ESG plays an important role from an active management perspective, giving a sense of how companies are managing what are often longer-term strategic risks that can reshape competitive advantage and, ultimately, long-term value creation for shareholders.

By Julie Moret, Head of ESG, Franklin Templeton Investments

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics have never been more prominent in investors' minds than they are today. But there's considerable variation among investment managers about how ESG is considered or integrated. Fresh from a series of ESG conferences in the United States attracting investors, managers and scientists, Julie Moret, Head of ESG at Franklin Templeton, outlines five topics that sparked her attention and that investors with an interest in ESG should have on their agenda.

ESG is now part of the investment mainstream. No longer a niche consideration, ESG represents a structural shift in the industry that is here to stay. It continues to generate growing levels of interest and awareness, as attendance figures for two high-profile ESG conferences in the United States at the end of last year show.

Both the Responsible Investor (RI) Americas Conference (in its 10th year) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Symposium drew record crowds (including us) to their events in December 2018.

More important than the growing number of attendees at these events, in our view, is the growing number of mainstream asset managers present. We think that reflects just how seriously the industry is taking this issue.

However, there remains plenty of variation about what exactly ESG investing entails. As we survey the global investment landscape, we've identified five ESG themes we think could drive activity and decision-making in 2019.

The Importance of ESG Integration

Our experience, including feedback from events such as the RI Americas Conference and the SASB Symposium, indicates clients are increasingly looking for an integrated approach to ESG from investment managers.

This is also supported by findings from the US and European arms of The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, USSIF and EUROSIF.

USSIF's latest US

This article was written by

Franklin Templeton profile picture
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 150 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the company offers specialization on a global scale, bringing extensive capabilities in fixed income, equity, alternatives and multi-asset solutions. With more than 1,300 investment professionals, and offices in major financial markets around the world, the California-based company has over 75 years of investment experience and over $1.4 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2023. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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