ESG Investing and Financial Institutions

Define. Deliver. Discuss.

In recent years, interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing has increased. In fact, a study released by EY late last year reported that the number of investors adding ESG products to their portfolios almost doubled from 2019.

Another initiative furthering the use of ESG criteria is the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). As of January 2020, the organization had more than 2,300 participating financial institutions that are signatories to PRI’s six key principles and file regular reports on the progress they’re making.

Incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance Criteria

It’s no surprise that more and more financial firms have been stepping up to demonstrate how they operate in the ESG space. Google “ESG investment providers,” and you’ll get millions of search results, literally! The extent of what many providers do varies dramatically. Some prefer to just post a release along with the UNPRI logo and principles, while others have created landing pages or more robust microsites.

As marketers, we’re seeing more interest in ESG. We often get questions like, “What are others doing in the ESG space, and what should we be doing?”

The first answer is easy, as there are many great experiences to reference and learn from. The second, however, is a bit more complicated. As you would expect, our answer varies for each firm we speak with. That said, there are some common questions we ask to steer us in developing the best solution.

Common Questions About ESG

  • How do you define and deliver on ESG?
  • How does it complement your mission and philosophy, and how is it embedded in your culture?
  • What is the experience you provide and why should your audiences care?
  • What are the key points you want your audiences to take away?
  • Have you optimized your search strategy and site content for these additional terms?
  • How do you intend to work ESG into your social conversations?

As interest in ESG investing grows, it’s important to note that it’s not a “set it and forget it” strategy. So, we encourage our financial clients to think through how they define it, continually deliver on it, and regularly discuss it.

Audiences are savvy enough to tell if ESG is just a company add-on, or if it’s a meaningful part of who they are and the experience they provide. And, as with all content today, when discussing ESG standards, it’s important to be relevant, engaging, and genuine.