Understanding Sustainable Investing and ESG

Sustainable investing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing enables one to participate as stewards of the planet and its inhabitants by leveraging environmental, social, and governance factors when they invest. The primary goal of the ESG investment is profit, but the impact must benefit beneficiaries for it to be tagged as an ESG investment.

 The concepts behind ESG investing are significant as they challenge corporate behavior and capitalism in our society. Changing demographics, shareholder expectations, consumer preferences, and regulatory pressures motivate and amplify Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) influences concerning the vulnerable ecosystem we depend on. How much of an impact ESG investing has will determine the future winners and losers of the business represented and the investment itself.

ESG investing comes from the same principles as socially responsible investing. Still, ESG screening takes it one step further by selecting measurable ESG factors of each company represented in the fund before the fund can be labeled as ESG:

Environmental- Conservation of the natural world

  • Conservation of the natural world
  • Climate change and carbon emissions
  • Air and water pollution
  • Biodiversity
  • Deforestation
  • Waste management
  • Water scarcity

Social- Consideration of people and relationships

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Gender and diversity
  • Employee engagement
  • Community relations
  • Human rights
  • Labor standards

Governance- Standards for running a company

  • Board composition
  • Audit committee structure
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Executive compensation
  • Lobbying
  • Political contributions
  • Whistleblower schemes

If ESG funds don’t meet the requirements above, they may lose the confidence of the wealth management industry and the public. The companies represented in the ESG fund must also practice what they preach regarding their behavior.

In conclusion, suppose you desire to do good through sustainable investing. In that case, your financial professional can help determine which ESG funds are operating as a fiduciary and if the companies represented in the fund are scoring high in all ESG standards.


The sources used to prepare this material are believed to be true, accurate and reliable, but are not guaranteed. This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial or tax guidance. When you access a link you are leaving our website and assume total responsibility for your use of the website you are linking to. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at this website. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, websites, information and programs made available through this website.  

Our family financial services firm, August H. Velten & Associates, has been in business for 12-years in Melbourne, FL.   August Velten (CLU) is a 40-year veteran of the Financial Services industry.  August is a former instructor for the Life Underwriter Training Council and once occupied the legislative seat for the Maine Association of Life Insurers.  In Brevard County, you may have seen him on local access TV or read one of his articles in a local area magazine.   Jessica Waterhouse, August’s daughter, left her own practice to join the firm in 2019.  Jessica is a Florida licensed insurance producer, securities licensed (Series 65), a long term care specialist (CLTC) and holds certification as a National Social Security Advisor.  Both August & Jessica are instructors for financial literacy workshops in both Brevard and Indian River County offering education in Social Security and Financial Planning. Contact the office today to schedule an introductory meeting or review of your current financial plan.

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