In 2009, Simon Sinek held one of the most influential TED talks ever. He argued that, while most people focus on the what and the how, successful leaders start with the why.
Lately, there has been a lively debate on the what and how of sustainable investing - several asset managers have been targeted by greenwashing allegations. DWS’s share price plunged recently after regulators in the US and Germany confirmed they were investigating claims it had overstated its application of sustainability criteria. Last year, Deka Bank faced a legal challenge for allegedly overstating the impact of some of its investment funds. Both Deka and DWS deny the accusations.
Clearly providers need to be more careful about how they describe their products and services, but the bigger question is: what is the underlying promise of sustainable investing?
Not being clear about why we want to invest sustainably leads inevitably to confusion. For example, sustain…