An empirical study of the world price of sustainability
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The core goal of this study is to empirically investigate whether there is a “world price” of corporate sustainability. This is assessed in the context of standard asset pricing models—in particular, by asking whether a risk premium attaches to a sustainability factor after controlling for the Fama–French factors. Both time-series and cross-sectional tests are formulated and applied. The results show that (1) global Fama–French factors have strong power to explain global equity returns and (2) sustainability investments have no significant impact on global equity returns. The absence of a significant relationship between sustainability and returns implies that large institutional investors are free to implement sustainability mandates without fear of breaching their fiduciary duties from realising negative returns due to incorporating a sustainability investment process.
Journal of Business Ethics
Banking, Finance and Investment not elsewhere classified