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Creating The Wikipedia Of Impact Investing

Faye Turner

7 min Read Time | November 21st 2020

Structural shifts Impaakt

Podcast fans rejoice - in the wonderfully rich podcast 'Structural Shifts' created by Aperture, you can listen in as host Ben Robinson chats with Impaakt co-founders Bertrand Gacon and Sylvain Massot.
The podcast discusses all things related to ESG investing, its flaws, and what other solutions might be out there.

"ESG is about finding whether the companies are doing things right. Impaakt is about finding whether companies are doing the right thing. And that’s very different."

You can read a few extracts of the conversation below, or even better go ahead and listen in full.

Listen Here

[00:11:28.26] Ben: Do you believe that this really makes a difference to the green agenda as compared to, you know, technology change or government action? Are we really moving the needle with ESG investing?

[00:11:39.27] Bertrand: The answer is probably yes and no. And we can see companies that have made a lot of progress when it comes to adapting their practices in terms of their processes to become more sustainable in many industries, actually. Now, all these good changes that happened — and I have to say, many companies really embraced the change have done some progress, and have made some progress in terms of becoming more sustainable in their practices, but where we are really missing the picture is that the ESG data is only about practices and it has not forced the financial industry so far to really rethink asset allocation or sector allocation, right? Because it’s being more or less agnostic in terms of what is your core business. But it does say that if you want to pick a carmaker, it will tell you which of those carmakers is more sustainable than another one, but it does not tell you whether it’s better to invest in cars than it is to invest in bikes or whether it’s better to invest in old energy, rather than to invest in renewable energy, right? It doesn’t tell you that. And this is where we probably missed a big part, a big chunk of the need we have to transform the economy in a much deeper way, by really using impact measurement, and not just ESG measurements to make informed decisions.

"now is really the time to go one step further, beyond ESG. And the financial industry has a very strong responsibility in triggering that change because there is nobody than the managers and CEOs listen more to than their shareholders."

"A pure big data approach will not enable you to necessarily understand the impact of a company, […] we still need the human brain, but one human brain is not sufficient to measure all the different aspects of impacts of a given company. So rather than just going for either an expert-model or a big data model, the most interesting approach is to use collective intelligence."

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