My year in ESG: adventures in sustainable finance
Bright people, information overload and impenetrable jargon: our ESG editor Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker reflects on her first 12 months covering a fast-growing sector.
Just over a year ago, I was asked to take over as Euromoney’s editor for environmental, social and governance (ESG).
For someone who had spent the previous 10 years covering central and eastern Europe (CEE), this was quite a shift. Even by the standards of emerging markets, the former communist bloc has been slow to get on board with sustainability and climate change.
Apart from a smattering of green bonds and sustainability-linked loans, the topic was barely mentioned. I wrote one article on it in 10 years. Plans for a second were abandoned due to lack of material.
I came to the topic fresh – although not without prejudice
So, I came to the topic fresh – although not without prejudice. Like many outsiders, I was casually sceptical about sustainable finance. I assumed it was somewhere between a backwater and a gravy train, that many of the practitioners were cynical and the rest were not terribly bright.
Among the many things I have learned in the past year is that most of these preconceptions were wildly misguided.
A couple of weeks of Zoom meetings with senior ESG bankers and fund managers quickly upturned my glib ideas about their calibre and motivation.