Modern economic principles value wealth accumulation, without acknowledging the impact human activities have on the environment or social wellbeing.
The course of such economic model seems to have slowed down as human consumption leads to natural resources destruction, greenhouse gases to global warming and financial speculation to hunger and poverty.
Some investors aim at contributing to a sustainable development and choose to invest in companies, whose activities would be socially acceptable and environmentally viable. Extra financial rating agencies offer to evaluate environmental, social, governance (ESG) and ethical performance of companies.
One may argue that the concepts, data and methodologies each agency picks are not comparable.
In addition; whereas environmental and governance issues are commonly integrated into extra financial notation, social impacts have yet to be fully assessed. In the context of the economic crisis our societies are struggling against, it seems wise to broaden our vision and encompass the social aspects of our development.
Social rating is complex but is compulsory in assessing long term management risk.
The Balafenn foundation aims at addressing the social aspect of sustainable development. Ideally one or more denominator exists to measure companies’ social behavior. To have a broader perspective on the issue, the foundation funds research studies dedicated to private companies socially responsible assessment.
Please see the FIR (ou FrenchSIF) website for further fundings on ESG.