Socially responsible companies are less volatile – Bank of America executive

Fewer bankruptcies at firms with strong ESG stances says bank’s vice-chair Anne Finucane

Bank of America Merrill Lynch research shows companies with progressive ESG stances have fewer bankruptcies. Photograph:  Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

Bank of America Merrill Lynch research shows companies with progressive ESG stances have fewer bankruptcies. Photograph: Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

 

Bank of America vice-chair Anne Finucane said in Dublin on Tuesday that companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles have been proven by research to be less volatile and have more predictable earnings.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Ms Finucane also said research carried out by analysts in Bank of America Merrill Lynch has shown that companies that are “more progressive on ESG concerns” have fewer bankruptcies.

“Also, our employees expect that we are part of the solution, not the wrecking ball,” said Ms Finucane, who is also chairperson of the group’s European unit, which was established in Dublin last year amid preparations for Brexit.

While Donald Trump moved two years ago to pull the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, Ms Finucane said that individual states and “big business” in the country are committed to addressing the challenge.

Ms Finucane said that businesses globally have a responsibility to drive the $6 trillion of annual funding that the United Nations estimates is needed to address 17 sustainable development goals it set out in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet and “ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity”.