San Francisco’s Bay Area has a GDP of $748 billion and is growing at 4% per annum, twice the US average. If it were a country, it would be the world’s 19th largest economy, coming between the Netherlands ($822 billion) and Switzerland ($686 billion). It is home to the world’s first trillion dollar company, and 74 billionaires - the third highest concentration of billionaires in any region of the world.
But, at street level, the divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots” becomes startlingly clear.
As we heard from many senior ranking experts as this year’s PRI in Person, the annual conference of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), investors can play an important role in helping to address inequality. It is in our interests to do so as inclusive growth means more sustainable growth - and by extension more sustainable investment returns - in the long run.
”Shareholder return maximisation has been used as an excuse to take inequality off the table. One of the areas investors can have a great deal of influence is on the relationship between companies and workers.”
Nick Robins, Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance,
Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment,
London School of Economics
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A quick cuppa with Faith Ward, Chief Responsible Investment and Risk Officer, Environment Agency Pension Fund