Generation’s Blood says investors need to ‘double down’ on sustainability despite Trump

Leading responsible investment figure speaks out

David Blood of Generation Investment Management has said investors will have to continue to integrate sustainability even if climate change-sceptic Donald Trump becomes US president.
Blood, co-founder of the sustainability boutique with former US Vice President Al Gore, was speaking at the PRI in Person event in Singapore.
“Whether Donald Trump wins or not, we’re doubling down on sustainability,” he told delegates.
The chair of the session, PRI Managing Director Fiona Reynolds pointed out that the Republican presidential candidate has said he would cancel climate change measures, but Blood said investors would have to continue to integrate sustainability and ESG “whoever’s in power”.
In reference not just to Trump’s plans to build a wall along the Mexican border but also to fears about increased protectionism in general, Blood – former CEO at Goldman Sachs Asset Management – said: “Putting up walls won’t help us.“He said the responsible investment community needed to win the debate about fiduciary duty and dissuade mostly US investors from the idea that it precludes them from taking ESG factors into account: “We need to make the business case very clear.” And the sector also need to move on from the ‘why’ to the ‘how’ of ESG integration.
Blood, calling the low carbon transition “the most significant economic transition in history”, said: “if we’re still talking about this in five or 10 years time, we will be in trouble”.
Another key point was that finance and capitalism generally were not working for everybody in the population, and that responsible investors were “lumped into” the public perception of finance. “Unless we decide we’re immune from that because we integrate sustainability, we are very close to losing our license to operate in this business and we need to get on it [to rectify the situation].”