Financial Services

Tech imperative: Looking beyond ESG investing to reinvent the future

December 02, 2020



December 02, 2020

Jason Wincuinas

Manager, Policy and insights

Based in Hong Kong, Jason covers Asia from Australia to India. His background includes managing publications, financial reporting and technical marketing as well as a decade of product-sourcing experience with mainland China factories. Some of his most formative work, however, has been as a stay-at-home dad and freelance writer, covering topics from perfluorocarbons to popcorn. Jason received a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with study at the University of Sheffield in Yorkshire, UK.

Tech imperative: Looking beyond ESG to reinvent the future is a report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by E Fund.

In the world of finance, green bonds were introduced to encourage sustainable projects. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors have spurred investors to review where their dollars go to ensure they do more good than harm. And impact investing has ratcheted that objective up to fund projects, programmes and organisations that have missions tightly aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. But what about a more old-fashioned approach of favouring the better mouse trap? Not necessarily the box-ticking exercise of ESG or the policy acrobatics of green bonds, but simply investing in technologies that show promise to decarbonise the environment.

This report, surveying more than 300 large investment funds—including asset managers and asset owners—investigates how these organisations view investment into technologies that mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as areas they are investing in, and whether the return objectives are framed differently to other investments.

In addition, this study takes wide-ranging desk research and indepth interviews with experts in the fields of investing, climate and technology into account. Dewi John is the report author and Jason Wincuinas is the editor. Our thanks are due to the following interviewees for their time and insights:

  • Mark Campanale, founder and executive chairman, Carbon Tracker Initiative
  • Stephen Freedman, head of research and sustainability, thematic equities, Pictet Asset Management
  • Andrew Gray, director of ESG and stewardship, AustralianSuper
  • Pedro Antonio Guazo Alonso, representative of the secretary-general for investments, UN Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF)
  • Carine Smith Ihenacho, chief corporate governance officer, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM)
  • Adrian Locher, founder and CEO, Merantix
  • Julian Poulter, partner, Energy Transition Advisors
  • Anne Simpson, director, board governance and strategy, CalPERS

Enjoy in-depth insights and expert analysis - subscribe to our Perspectives newsletter, delivered every week