Environmental, Social and Governance Aspects Impact on Financial Performance : An event study on ESG improvement

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, FöretagsekonomiHögskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Economics, Finance and Statistics

Abstract:

During the past decade, corporate transparency has become a fundamental value and strong signifier in today’s business environment. Today, companies must reveal more Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information about their operations than ever. This study investigates if asset managers can benefit from ESG information by incorporating it into the investment process. An event study is conducted on companies that improved their ESG performance and the financial results is evaluated post of the improvement. Three different time-perspectives are used, 1-year, 3-years and 5 years to see if the relationship is sensitive to changes in time. In sum, only the mid-term test give a statistical significant result, with indication of a negative impact from ESG improvements on financial performance. There is weak evidence that the financial performance may improve in the ultra-long run, but additional research needs to be done to confirm such hypothesis. I suggest that regardless of how the relationship between ESG and financial performance is, more integrated ESG models will be important for asset managers in the future. 

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