Read our thought leadership on evolving environmental, social and governance issues.

Thought Leadership Piece
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted April 2017

Key Takeaways:

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Tax Reform? Let’s Make It a Carbon Tax
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted April 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • The financial value at risk from climate change is in the trillions of dollars.
  • Our national and global economies are ready for a low-carbon future—all we need is the incentive to invest in one that a carbon tax provides.
  • A carbon tax will send a signal to markets that the way we produce energy now is putting our economies and societies at ever-increasing peril.
The Value of ESG Information in Financial Markets
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted March 2017

Key Takeaways:

  • Financial markets need information in order to work efficiently.
  • Financial analysts can do a demonstrably better job when they have information on sustainability.
  • Requiring sustainability disclosures from companies as a listing standard would help investors, companies, and financial markets—and help reinforce the foundations of civil society.
Making a Positive Impact: The State of ESG Advocacy and Engagement
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted February 2017

Key Takeaways

  • Sustainability advocacy and engagement is aimed at longterm outcomes and specifically targets ESG factors.
  • We engage with companies because we believe that improving companies’ sustainability profiles makes them better investments, and helps them perform better in the long run.
  • Shareholders can be a powerful force affecting companies’ strategies and performance – this work is making a difference.
Family Friendly Workplaces Are Good For Business
By Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted November 2016

Key takeaways:

  • Family friendly workplaces offer measurable advantages when it comes to advancing businesses themselves and the business sector as a whole.
  • The most basic thing that family friendly workplaces do for any business is to put that business in a better position to attract, retain, support and advance women employees.
  • Being a good corporate citizen and a profi table, successful business are inextricably linked.
Paradigm Shifts in Investing: Climate Change and Impact
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted September 2016

We are experiencing a significant change in how most people think about the impact of their investments and about their role in mitigating climate change.

Efforts to advance impactfor sustainability and avoid catastrophic climate change are long-term propositions—that need to start now.

We believe that sustainability has a lasting effect that often outweighs political and economic events.

Pulling Back the Curtain: Demystifying Sustainability Analysis
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2016

Key Takeaways:

Many financial professionals lack a solid grasp of what sustainability factors are and how they are material to a company’s performance.

"Is this a sustainable company?" is a complex question and measuring sustainability requires analyzing many aspects of corporate operation.

Financial professionals should understand where sustainability rankings come from, and which capture the most relevant, useful and material information regarding future performance.

Governance and the Valeant Flea: The Art of Not Living Dangerously
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Chris Brown, Chief Investment Strategist | Posted May 2016

Key Takeaways:

Pax World evaluates companies’ corporate governance as part of our investment process.

We believe corporate governance factors can have financial impact and by considering these factors as part of the investment process, we seek to reduce risk and preserve portfolio value.

We removed Valeant from our portfolios due to corporate governance issues – a decision that proved advantageous.

Sustainability: Investors Really Can Make a Difference
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted February 2016

Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize positive progress, particularly when current events seem to be dramatically negative. Chinese market woes, terrorism, severe weather, and the hyperbolic rhetoric that always accompanies presidential election campaigns dominate the news in ways that long-term progress toward a more sustainable planet probably never will.

So, it is useful to count the ways in which Pax World’s day-to-day work does make a difference.[...]

What the Paris Agreement Means for Investors
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted December 2015

The 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) is over, and that means the foundation of the post-fossil fuel era has been laid. It's a good foreword, laying the four cornerstones of a world where all the tribes agree that climate change is a problem that must be solved. 195 nations have, for the first time in the history of climate negotiation, agreed to a set of actions that should reduce the danger we face from climate change.1

1United Nations, "Framework Convention on Climate Change," December 12, 2015.

Climate Change: Identifying Future Makers and Future Takers
By David W. Richardson, CFA®, Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing and Client Services, Impax Asset Management (U.S.) | Posted August 2015

For those investors wondering whether and how climate change might affect their investment portfolios, Mercer, the global consulting firm, has an answer. Mercer’s recent report, Investing in a Time of Climate Change, advises:

"Climate change is an environmental, social and economic risk... investors cannot therefore assume that economic growth will continue to be heavily reliant on an energy sector powered predominantly by fossil fuels. This presents asset owners and investment managers with both risks and opportunities."

Real liquidity: Why investors care about water
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted May 2015

One of the great teaching tools in undergraduate economics is the Diamond-Water Paradox, which challenges us to think through why water, a necessity of life, is almost free, while diamonds, which pretty much everyone can live without, are expensive. The deus ex machina here is scarcity: Diamonds are scarce, and water isn’t. Rewind the tape: it wasn’t. That’s changing, and fast. [...]

Integrating ESG Analysis to Manage Indeterminate Risk
By Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Steve Falci, CFA,® Chief Investment Officer | Posted April 2015

Until recently, sustainable investing has been regarded, at least in North America, as a niche investment strategy. Mainstream asset managers were oft en skeptical of it, primarily for perceived performance reasons. Nevertheless a growing body of evidence has shown that taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into account can enhance portfolio management as well as meet the needs of two growing demographics in the market - women and millennials.[...]