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Introduction of Environmental, Social, and Governance

I am Holly So, ESG Specialist at Mirae Asset. Prior to joining Mirae Asset I worked at a professional services firm in the Climate & Sustainability team where I provided advisory services to listed companies and financial institutions alike on their ESG strategies as well as ESG reporting. Some key projects include formulating strategies in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), carbon footprinting, as well as conducting climate risks analysis and disclosure.

At Mirae Asset, my main responsibility as ESG Specialist is to drive the integration of ESG factors in our investment process. This includes looking after how ESG analysis is conducted as part of fundamental analysis to inform stocks recommendation, as well as working with analysts to actively engage with investee companies on their ESG activities.

Against that backdrop, I’d like to take us through the basics of what is ESG, why it’s important and what investors are doing around ESG.

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. Considering ESG, alongside financial factors, in investment decision-making means to consider the impact a company has on the environment and the society as well as how the environment and the society is impacting the company. Environmental factors include greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, toxic waste, as well as risks and opportunities that arise from climate change. Social factors include employee relations and diversity, occupational health and safety, and labour conditions in the supply chain. Lastly governance factors include board effectiveness and board diversity, executive pay, and business ethics such as anti-bribery and anti-corruption.

Why is ESG important? A typical answer to this is twofold – to capture ESG opportunities and to manage ESG risks. To us, it is more than that. We look beyond financial returns and use ESG factors to monitor the sustainable impacts of our investments. ESG is important because it helps us understand how we can allocate capital responsibly and towards sustainable outcomes.

When it comes to ESG investing, investors adopt a range of ESG strategies. ESG integration and positive screening are now more popular than negative screening or otherwise known as exclusions. There is also increasingly more adoption of active ownership and thematic investing in recent years.

Thank you for taking the time to watch this video. Please feel free to look through the ESG section of our website or reach out to me if you have any questions or comments on Mirae Asset’s ESG activities. In our next video, I will speak with our Chief Investment Officer Mr Rahul Chadha on Mirae Asset’s commitments to ESG.

Holly So, CFA
ESG Specialist

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