Accounting, finance & control

Sustainable Investment: An Inevitable Story

By Philip Joos | June 14, 2024 | 1 min read
Companies seeking financing today can no longer do without a well-thought-out extra-financial—read: more sustainable—strategy. TIAS Professor of Accounting Philip Joos contributed to the whitepaper "Sustainable Investment. From Trend, to Norm, to Must."

"Sustainable investment is not just about the appealing story; it's about the inevitable story with promising opportunities and growth prospects. With a number of academic and business experts, we want to concretize what that means for investors and companies," says Philip.

Investments that barely raised an eyebrow until recently now raise questions in 2024. The increased and inevitable focus on sustainability among capital providers, companies, and governments means they prefer not to do business with players who do not prioritize their sustainability strategy or fail to take real steps towards an ESG-driven business model, i.e., environmentally and climate-conscious (E), socially just (S), and well-governed (G).

Healthy Investment Policy

Is sustainable investment so different from a responsible profit-driven investment strategy? Essentially, no. Every investor—whether it's the traditional investor or the company seeking credit to invest in its sustainable transition—must stay in tune with how the world is evolving in terms of technology, societal forms, social challenges, etc., and adjust their strategy accordingly to make progress in the future, both financially and socially. The difference is that sustainability has become an irreversible vector for a healthy investment policy in the 21st century for both financial and non-financial actors.

Lack of Knowledge

But despite the growing enthusiasm for sustainable investments, there is still a lack of information and awareness among both directors and the government. A recent survey of 879 board members in 45 countries shows that 79% understand the opportunities and risks associated with sustainability, but only 29% have sufficient knowledge to translate that into concrete policy. The whitepaper, a joint publication by VBO and Ageas, encourages the transition to more sustainable and responsible investment practices without hindering companies.

Read more about the whitepaper »

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