Full Title: The Social Aspects of ESG Investing: Insights on Diversity in Energy Finance
Author(s): Amy Myers Jaffe, Maria Jelescu, Jully Meriño Carela
Publisher(s): Columbia SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy
Publication Date: March 15, 2021
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This commentary discusses the approaches environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-oriented institutional investors and engaged impact investors are taking to make apparent the gender and broader diversity standards that companies, including energy companies, will need to meet to maintain access to their capital. This commentary also considers the role a diverse workforce and leadership can play in promoting other ESG goals, such as environmental performance. It then takes a step back to examine early investing through venture capital. This is important because many energy companies begin as smaller ventures backed by risk finance. The role of venture capital in energy start-ups means that the onus is not just on the energy companies themselves to consider gender issues in long-term sustainability and profitability but also on early-stage investors of the energy industry to recognize the potential in women-owned and women-run start-ups and the biases holding them back.