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Journal Article

ESG Ratings: A Compass without Direction

We examine the recent concerns about the reliability of the assessments of ESG ratings providers. We review the demand for ESG information, the stated objectives of ESG ratings providers, how ratings are determined, the evidence of what they achieve, and structural aspects of the industry that potentially influence ratings. We find that while ESG ratings providers may convey important insights into the nonfinancial impact of companies, significant shortcomings exist in their objectives, methodologies, and incentives which detract from the informativeness of their assessments.

White Paper

Supply Chain Climate Exposure

To manage climate risks, investors need reliable climate exposure metrics, but such risks may be difficult to measure, particularly along the supply chain. Using broadly accessible data, we propose an intuitive metric that quantifies the exposure a company has to customers and suppliers. Our metric is related to scope 3 emissions and captures the strength of economic linkages as well as the overall climate exposure of a firm’s customers and suppliers.

White Paper

Looking Forward With Historical Carbon Data

Increasingly many allocators are interested in computing their portfolio’s carbon footprint. We show that historical emissions data are useful despite a substantial 1-2 years’ lag typically to when investment portfolios are built.

Journal Article

Sustainable Systematic Credit

Interest in sustainable investing is now expanding into fixed income. This paper assesses how measures of sustainability/ESG might be relevant for corporate bonds and analyzes how ESG measures can be incorporated into an investment process to achieve the joint object of maximizing risk-adjusted returns and a sustainability target.

White Paper

(Car)Bon Voyage: The Road to Low Carbon Investment Portfolios

We discuss how an investment portfolio could dramatically reduce its carbon footprint, potentially even achieving a ‘net zero’ carbon footprint. We discuss the pros and cons of techniques to achieve carbon reduction goals, including security selection, shorting high carbon footprint companies, and trading instruments such as carbon offsets and carbon permits.

Working Paper

Does ESG Help or Hurt Returns?

Combining several large data sets, we compute the empirical ESG-efficient frontier and show the costs and benefits of responsible investing.

Data Set

Responsible Investing: The ESG-Efficient Frontier – Original Paper Data

This the original data set used in “Responsible Investing: The ESG-Efficient Frontier” (Pedersen, Fitzgibbons and Pomorski). It contains the total returns of the value-weighted and equal-weighted portfolios used in the paper.

Working Paper

Responsible Investing: The ESG-Efficient Frontier

Combining several large data sets, we compute the empirical ESG-efficient frontier and show the costs and benefits of responsible investing.

Journal Article

Assessing Risk through Environmental, Social and Governance Exposures

ESG investing may have a role in portfolios that extends beyond ethical considerations, particularly for investors interested in tilting toward safer stocks, and in a way that complements what is captured by traditional statistical risk models.

Journal Article

Long-Only Style Investing: Don't Just Mix, Integrate

We contrast two common approaches to long-only style investing: the “portfolio mix” and the “integrated portfolio.” Our results suggest that long-only factor or smart beta investors should consider integrating styles in portfolio construction.