Investors are stepping up their appeals for robust corporate sustainability reporting, with increased focus on climate impact and long-term performance in a carbon-constrained world. These reports have been standard for some time, though the metrics and definitions for success have transformed within this framework over time. Many stakeholders have pressed companies to go beyond the standard ESG approach — which measures performance by limiting corporate impact — and explore ways actually improve the world around them. To that end, some see the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an opportunity to guide companies toward areas of positive, measurable impacts.
Steve Schueth, President and Chief Marketing Officer at First Affirmative Financial Network, has watched the corporate-investor sustainability dialogue evolve throughout his career as a leader in socially responsible investing. I sat down with him to explore this latest shift, and what he sees for the future of sustainability reporting.