Upcoming research: The role of Corporate Social Investors in furthering the ‘S’ of their related company’s ESG strategy

April 27, 2022


Companies increasingly pay attention to their social and environmental impact, and dedicate resources to social causes – either through CSR activities or by setting up a Corporate Social Investing entity such as a corporate foundation, or through a combination of means and vehicles.

The European Union is also introducing new legislation to better channel capital flows toward a sustainable economy while avoiding green and social washing. This includes the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, the Green Taxonomy (and a potential future Social Taxonomy) and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.

In this new context, there will be increased scrutiny and a larger amount of public data on companies’ non-financial performance. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have become particularly salient since the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced corporations to reflect on their social and environmental responsibility.

Companies are now setting more ambitious objectives for their ESG agenda. Some will likely consider strategically leveraging their existing Corporate Social Investing vehicles to achieve their ESG targets and improve their performance on the ‘S’ of ESG – the social dimension of corporate impact.

This is an opportunity to generate impact at scale. But it also brings questions with regards to potential conflicts of interest, and safeguarding the impact integrity of Corporate Social Investors.

Our new research will therefore focus on how CSIs contribute to the ‘S’ of their related company's ESG strategy. The research will:

  • map the CSI landscape to understand how CSIs interact with their related company on its ESG strategy and whether they contribute to the ‘S’ of the ESG strategy;
  • understand CSIs’ rationale for choosing or not to contribute; and if so, how they do it;
  • outline the challenges and opportunities that this positioning brings for CSIs;
  • identify the approaches and mitigation actions deployed by CSIs to safeguard their impact integrity.

We will conduct the research in 2022 and the findings will be released in early 2023.

If you would like to contribute to the research or for more information, contact our Corporate Initiative Research Manager Lev Fejes: lfejes(at)evpa.ngo.

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