The 5th annual Korean ESG review: Sustainability & stock returns - the correlation

The price returns of Korea’s most sustainable companies since 2007 proof beyond doubt that sustainable investment is profitable, given the right research approach.

The “SolA Sustainable 50” has consistently outperformed the markets every year since inception in 2007 by margins that exclude statistical coincidence. The portfolio has also outperformed ESG benchmarks ( DJSI Korea and KRX SRI), indicating that sustainable investment returns depend on the quality of the research and methodology.

Remarkable developments in corporate sustainability can be observed amongst Korean companies since the first annual ESG assessment in 2007 throughout a range of criteria, including the integration in strategic corporate development in terms of research and product/service development. However, while recent signs are encouraging, the full extent of cost-savings potential and new business opportunities related to sustainable management have not yet been fully realised by most Korean companies.

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