Reflecting on ESG in 2021 with Eilidh Duncan: Regulation and meat-free meals

ESG Clarity asks readers if their sustainable New Year's resolutions and ESG predictions for 2021 came true

It’s that time of year again – the days are getting colder and the festivities are beginning. Last year, we asked ESG Clarity readers how they were going to spend a sustainable Christmas and heard about recycled wrapping, staying local, Zoom carols and much more.

We also asked for our readers’ sustainable resolutions and predictions in the ESG space for the year to come. Now the year is drawing to a close we wanted to see whether they stuck to their resolutions and how their predictions played out over the course of the past 12 months.

Here we speak to Eilidh Duncan, sustainable investment product analyst at abrdn.

Last year her sustainability New Year’s resolution was to eat more meat-free meals and potentially become a full vegetarian. “I haven’t managed to become a full veggie but I plan to continue my efforts and eat more meat-free meals,” she said.

This year she plans to try to buy the majority of things second hand. “Reusing promotes a shift to a circular economy, which gives us the tools to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss together, while addressing important social needs.”

She said a separate sustainability New Year’s resolution was to travel more sustainably. “Over the course of the year, I was able to go on a couple of sailing courses on the west coast of Scotland and work my way to becoming a skipper. In 2022, I would love to do some longer passages, which is a great way to make my travel plans carbon neutral.”

Last year Duncan predicted disclosure regulation that came into force in March 2021, and the EU Taxonomy regulation, under which investors are to disclose their alignment for financial year 2021, will both mean increased focus on ESG reporting in the near and long term.

Looking back, she noted increased focus on ESG reporting driven by the regulation has indeed played a key role over the past year. “Focus will continue to grow given the evolving regulatory requirements and agenda,” she added.

In 2022 she predicts that with the number of ESG funds forecast to outnumber conventional funds by 2025, we will continue to see a large number of funds repurpose or convert. “This will be driven by two factors: client demand and regulatory pressure.”

See also: –  Reflecting on ESG in 2021 with James Clark: Renewables and repurposed funds