The sustainable investing movement has gained significant momentum in recent years. Even before the pandemic further highlighted the need to prepare for a changing global climate, institutions had begun to more deeply evaluate how they, and the companies in which they invest, impact the environment. SLC Management was among them, signing on to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2014.1

The intensifying pace of change became clear when the Business Roundtable updated its "Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation" in August 2019. Nearly 200 chief executive officers of some of the world’s largest corporations agreed that companies must treat their customers, employees and suppliers fairly and ethically while delivering long-term value to shareholders. This commitment not only put clear parameters around the concept of corporate social responsibility, but also asserted that companies should not put people and the planet at risk for the sake of maximizing shareholder value. As a result, environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis became table stakes for asset managers.

Then 2020 brought the Covid-19 crisis, changing the world forever. From fair labor practices to healthcare to inequity, the pandemic has magnified the need for investors to consider ESG issues when evaluating companies. However, with countless headlines about how the pandemic will completely reshape the way companies operate, how can investors reassess their portfolios?