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Crisis fails to derail support for ESG

A new report commissioned by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has found environmental, social and governance investment criteria in emerging
markets are being embraced by most of the asset management community despite the economic crisis.

Written by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the report found that the investment community views ESG criteria as mainstream and persistent, even in the face of portfolio shrinkage and the lure of quick financial returns.

In 2009, 46 per cent of asset owners strongly agreed with the statement “ESG issues are an important part of our
research, portfolio management and manager selection”, up from 36 per cent in 2007. The majority (78 per cent) think the importance of ESG factors has been amplified by the crisis and will result in greater use of ESG criteria over time.

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