We are in a period of flux; the world is undergoing multiple complex transitions, but shocks and release of tension could also brighten the risk outlook. Meanwhile, a number of key developments are likely to shape environmental, social, and governance (ESG) trends over the course of 2017. These include:
- The long-term shift to a low-carbon economy and physical natural capital risks;
- Technological change of unprecedented depth and speed;
- A new global economic and geopolitical balance and the associated risk of division and polarization;
- The emergence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), along with a new generation of (individual) market participants that is increasingly focused on social issues; and
- A stronger institutional focus on long-term risks and opportunities that can affect economic, political and societal development and growth.
Managing these transitions and the deeply interconnected risks they entail will require long-term thinking, investment, and international cooperation. S&P Dow Jones Indices is supporting and driving new and existing ESG efforts through the strategic expansion of its broad range of sustainability index offerings across ESG themes and asset classes. Here is our view of how some of the key ESG trends will play out in 2017 and beyond—and influence our strategic decision-making and product development.