The Materiality of Sustainability for Investors

Sustainability is increasingly material to investment returns. In this paper, experts from Cambridge Associates discuss five prominent trends that are likely to have relevant implications for investment portfolios over the long term. The five trends we highlight — climate change, multi–stakeholder driven society, resource degradation, demographic challenges, and technological revolution — all warrant attention from investors, even if they have overlapping aspects. We also highlight how sustainability trends have already impacted investment performance and discuss why prices may still not reflect long-term sustainability concerns. Ultimately, investors that evolve more quickly to incorporate these risks and opportunities into their investment decision-making frameworks are likely to be better prepared for the future than their peers.