In the modern digital age, a pandemic has forced to shut down all businesses across diverse industries. Healthcare is only the sector which is fighting against the Covid-19 outbreak by standing at the front. In such a scenario, investors are increasingly showing interest in sustainable investments for a higher purpose beyond profit. With the constant increase of coronavirus cases, investment firms are turning their investments to public health.
Sustainable investing, in general, directs a company’s investment towards incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions. In this process, businesses that invest sustainably shift investing into startups, organizations and funds with the purpose to create quantifiable social and environmental impact.
For the last year, a private banking unit of the Swiss multinational investment firm in Asia UBS has doubled its assets in sustainable investments, in which the majority of the new investment came from Greater China. According to the bank, there has been a heightened demand for sustainable investments due to Covid-19, which has brought Asian investors’ health and environmental concerns at the forefront.
Additionally, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week affirmed US$2.2 billion support package to India in its response to the pandemic. This support package assurance comes after the World Bank announcement where it pledged US$1 billion for the country’s Covid-19 emergency response and health systems preparedness project.
The Covid-19 which has put businesses at stake and led health crises around the world, impacts investors and their beneficiaries, irrespective of holdings, strategy or role in the investment chain. It has become significant for companies to manage for the long-term when evaluating how they treat employees, contractors and suppliers, and must be prioritizing these needs over instant returns to shareholders. They need to act conscientiously in setting the pricing and supply levels of goods and services that can support society in responding to the health and economic aspects of the crisis the world is facing right now.
Making Sustainability Investment Effective During the Crisis
With the growing threat of Covid-19 over individuals, businesses and the global economy, most companies have come under pressing concerns, limiting paid sick leave. They are even failing to provide a safe working environment that is immediately and directly hurting individuals, the economy and investors, alongside delaying the pace of the economic recovery. In this case, investors must engage those companies that have affected more by the outbreak and are failing in their crisis management.
Investors also require to assess every step and any changes to supply-and-demand patterns that can help restrict other issues from evolving. Moreover, some investors and companies are seeing the sustainability investment landscape changing as healthcare issues around food, obesity, and other essential goods will demand more investment amid the pandemic. Already, major investors have pressed, and pressing, drug manufacturers to work collaboratively.