Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Environmental criteria consider how an organization performs as a steward of nature. Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with workers, suppliers, prospects, and the communities the place it operates. Governance offers with an organization’s leadership, executive pay, audits, inside controls, and shareholder rights.

How Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria Work

Traders (notably youthful generations) have, in recent times, shown curiosity in placing their cash the place their values are. Consequently, brokerage firms and mutual fund companies have started offering change-traded funds (ETFs) and other monetary products that comply with ESG criteria.

Types of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria

There are three key parts to ESG investing—the environmental, social, and governance aspects.


Environmental criteria may embrace a company’s energy use, waste, air pollution, natural resource conservation, and therapy of animals. The criteria also can assist consider any environmental risks an organization may face and the way the corporate is managing those risks.

For instance, there is perhaps points associated to its ownership of contaminated land, its disposal of hazardous waste, its management of poisonous emissions, or its compliance with government environmental regulations.


Social criteria look at the company’s enterprise relationships. Does it work with suppliers that hold the identical values as it claims to hold? Does the company donate a share of its profits to the local community or encourage workers to perform volunteer work there? Do the company’s working conditions show high regard for its employees’ health and safety? Are other stakeholders’ interests taken into consideration?


About governance, buyers could need to know that a company makes use of accurate and clear accounting strategies and that stockholders are allowed to vote on vital issues.

They may additionally want assurances that companies keep away from conflicts of interest of their choice of board members, don’t use political contributions to acquire unduly favorable remedy and, after all, don’t engage in illegal practices.

No single company could pass each test in each class, in fact, so buyers must determine what’s most important to them and do the research.

Special Considerations

On a practical level, investment firms that follow ESG criteria should additionally set priorities. For instance, Boston-based Trillium Asset Administration, with $4.eight billion under management as of September 2021, makes use of a choice of ESG factors to assist determine firms positioned for robust lengthy-term performance.3

Decided in part by analysts who identify points going through different sectors and industries, Trillium’s ESG criteria embody avoiding:

Firms that operate in higher-risk areas or have exposure to coal or hard rock mining, nuclear or coal power, private prisons, agricultural biotechnology, tobacco, tar sands, or weapons and firearms.

Or corporations that have major or current controversies with human rights, animal welfare, environmental considerations, governance issues, or product safety.

Things that Trillium seeks out or considers positive ESG criteria, embody:


Companies that put out carbon or sustainability reports

Limits harmful pollutants and chemicals

Seeks to lower greenhouse gas emissions

Makes use of renewable energy sources


Firms that operate an ethical provide chain

Supports LGBTQ rights and encourages diversity

Has policies to protect in opposition to sexual misconduct

Pays truthful wages


Corporations that embrace diversity on their board

Embraces corporate transparency

Employs a CEO unbiased of the board chair

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