In the face of increasing resource scarcity and other global sustainability challenges, the profitability of businesses over the long-term is directly impacted by material sustainability risks and opportunities.  

While there is growing interest in employing investment strategies that account for these factors – through favoring companies poised to thrive in a resource-constrained world – the barriers are significant.  

Not only are there no tested road maps for investors to follow, but key market participants have been slow to develop mainstream products and recommend them to clients. As a result, sustainable investment products with high quality returns are lacking, as are the data for evaluating sustainability risk and opportunity – particularly for certain sectors, regions, and asset classes. 


Our Vision and Approach 

WRI envisions a future where financial markets support a sustainable world for generations to come. In this future, all investors will consider sustainability as part of fundamental decision-making, markets will incorporate company sustainability performance into valuation, and sustainable investing will be mainstream. 

Leading businesses are already shifting management practices to prepare for this future. These companies are intentionally managing their sustainability performance to ensure that they will survive – and thrive – in the new economics of a resource constrained world. 

Long-term investors play a key role in fostering this new orientation toward sustainability. By directing investments into these leading companies - through sustainable investment strategies – investors incentivize sustainability performance while securing their own long term financial returns. 

WRI’s Sustainable Investing Initiative uses WRI’s investment experience, data, research and convening power to encourage this transition. We collaborate with institutional investors and other market participants to inform, develop, and promote widespread adoption of sustainable investments strategies in the mainstream investor marketplace. 

WRI advances sustainable investment opportunities for institutional investors by: 

  • Shifting investment capital, starting with our own capital, to companies that incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) externalities as part of fundamental financial analysis today. 
  • Producing cutting-edge research with a focus on what’s useful to mainstream investment decision-makers. 
  • Educating asset owners on fiduciary duty, ESG issues, and on incorporating sustainability performance into their investment decisions. 
  • Supporting investment managers in developing and improving investment products to incorporate environmental, social, governance factors as part of fundamental financial analysis. 
  • Collaborating with peer investors to engage as active shareholders with companies. 
  • Identifying and disclosing agency problems in investment decision-making that are contrary to asset owners’ intentions related to sustainability. 
  • Convening experts in sustainable investing with institutional investors who want to learn from their experience. 
  • Exchanging knowledge with market participants at the cutting edge of practice, including investment managers, investment consultants, information providers, standards bodies, and associations.