It has been an astonishing year, one that none of us could ever have predicted and the remainder doesn’t look much more appealing with the festive season with our extended family and friends in jeopardy.
To lighten the mood, we wanted to find out from ESG investment professionals the achievements and lessons learned in 2020. We also asked how they will be making their festivities sustainable and their New Year’s resolutions to protect the planet and society.
In this article, we speak to Dan Bland, investment manager at EQ Investors.
What are your biggest personal and professional achievements this year?
In spite of everything Covid-19, I’ve managed to sell a flat, by a house at auction, and get married. Professionally I’ve found the time spent this year helping investors transition their assets to more sustainable strategies incredibly rewarding.
In ESG, what has had the biggest impact this year?
The Covid-19 pandemic and global responses have sped up the pace of change in the flow of capital, both in terms of government spending and from investors repositioning portfolios. The pace and stark contrast in terms of financial returns between more and less sustainable investments seem to have awoken lots of new investors to the opportunities, regardless of their values.
What is a major positive change your business has introduced permanently as a result of the pandemic?
Continuing with remote and flexible working has and will be fantastic for many of us at EQ. Importantly it’s been paired with initiatives to help people cope with the claustrophobic lockdown periods, but let’s hope we don’t need to keep that specific part going too much longer!
How will you be having a sustainable festive period?
At EQ we’ve been involved with Advent of Change – the charity advent calendar. It’s a fantastic way of supporting multiple charities. I’d encourage everyone to take a look, in case you’ve still got time before Christmas.
What is your go-to winter holiday routine and what’s your back-up plan for this year?
Not going away is a great way to lower your carbon footprint, maybe the back-up should start being the go to…
What’s your sustainability New Year’s resolution?
We want to switch our house over to all electric, from gas.
What’s your big prediction for next year in the ESG space?
Corporate ESG analysis will become the baseline expectation of investors, in the same way asset allocation became the norm in the 90s, to manage risk.
See also: –
A Sustainable Xmas with Hannah Simons: Net zero, inequality and Zoom carols
A Sustainable Xmas with Yuko Takano: Games, electric cars and diversity
A Sustainable Xmas with Diane Earnshaw: Flexible working, last-minute wrapping and embedding ESG
A Sustainable Xmas with Caroline Langley: PT puppy, 1970s wrapping paper and greenwashing
A Sustainable Xmas with Bev Shah: Homemade decorations, food waste and measurable metrics
A Sustainable Christmas with Eilidh Duncan: Agile working, Disclosure Regulation and meat-free meals
A Sustainable Christmas with Jean-Jacques Barbéris: Baby news, China’s game changer and reduced travel
A Sustainable Christmas with Patrick Thomas: Staycations, veggie diet and panic buying