Innovative Firms


Sustainable asset manager Ethic wondered how it could make impact reporting on sustainable portfolios more meaningful and understandable?

To meet this challenge, the company expanded its reports to not only consider impact within 19 issue categories, but to also provide tangible, relatable consequences of clients’ investment decisions. The categories include issues such as climate change, women’s rights, and racial justice.

Considering the metric of coal reserves ownership, for example, a client’s sustainable portfolio report shows how much less it owns compared to a given benchmark. The impact is explained in terms of emissions not being supported, like the equivalent of a given number of metric tons of CO2, miles driven or gallons of gas.

“We’re trying to move capital away from companies causing negative impacts to people and the planet,” said Johny Mair, Ethic co-founder. “We’re helping investors understand — if you’re following the benchmark, this is what you’re supporting.”

— Deborah Nason