“ESG – Global Supply Chains, Long-Termism and the Future of Finance” – Webinar – The Gerhart Center for Philanthropy, Civic Engagement and Responsible Business at the American University in Cairo – June 17, 2020

COVID 19 is causing a shock of unprecedented magnitude worldwide to all human activities. In an effort to curtail the spread of the contagion, and in the absence of a vaccine or cure, social distancing is the only viable solution adopted by most countries. This came with a huge toll to the economy and subsequently to all members of society and in particular the most vulnerable.

The Gerhart Center for Philanthropy, Civic Engagement and Responsible Business at the American University in Cairo has launched a webinar series, The Aftermath of the COVID 19: The New Social Impact Ecosystem, with the aim of discussing concepts that are currently not mainstream and may (or perhaps should) become mainstream in the aftermath of the COVID 19. Each will involve one speaker who will speak for 35 minutes to allow for Q&A for 20 minutes. We, at the Gerhart Center, hope that this series will start interesting discussions that will later result in activities that will result in better societies and more responsible businesses.

On June 17, 2020 Geoffrey Mazullo, Principal, Emerging Markets ESG, delivered webinar 14 in the series – on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing – a fast-growing segment of the financial sector around the world.

Short-termism has kidnapped our perception and understanding of finance – the risks, rewards and impacts of our investments.  The COVID19 crisis exposes the limitations of short-termism and the risks inherent in global supply chains.

Since its inception, socially responsible investment (SRI) applies an ESG lens, focused on the long-term and assessing the entire supply chain.  Today, a coalition of new demographic groups have a more holistic behavioral finance approach; they recognize and embrace ESG considerations.  To satisfy client demand and regulatory requirements, ESG criteria can now be applied and integrated across the entire spectrum of financial products and need not necessarily reduce returns.  In fact, ESG investing is a catalyst for long-term sustainable micro- and macro-economic development, in advanced industrial democracies, developing countries, emerging markets and frontier markets.

You cand download a recording of the webinar here.