Jean Case, CEO of The Case Impact Network and chairman of the National Geographic Society, discusses trends in impact investing and the importance of measuring environmental, social, and governance factors to identify risks and growth opportunities.
On the need for standardized ESG metrics: “We really do need a set of standards in measurement if we’re going to take this forward. The risk is truly an existential one to these movements more broadly. And why is that? Because if we bring a bunch of investors along believing that the company or the fund is doing these kind of things, and they ultimately discover it was all not very real, I think it hurts the movement more broadly. We need to get real about what we’re saying when we’re saying ESG … I tend to think the real point of ESG is risk mitigation in the long term, because the reason environmental factors need to be measured, they will impact your business and they will impact your communities. And as investors, we want to always see risk mitigation of threats out there."
On global climate transition commitments by 2030: “I think in this next—certainly—year, we might see some disruption around some of the commitments that were made to get to 2030. But I also believe there is an acceleration … Some CEOs say, ‘Well, we’re definitely not going to get there going it alone, so who do we need to partner with? What new things do we need to do to really begin to make some traction, so that we’re in alignment with 2030?’ I’m optimistic in the long term.”
This episode was recorded on April 4, 2022