Sustainability hub

Thinking Ahead Institute research and publications into the role of sustainability in the investment industry

“There are no side effects – just effects… [Side effects] are just a sign that the boundaries of our mental models are too narrow, our time horizons too short” Professor John Sterman, Director of MIT System Dynamics Group.

Sustainability is becoming an ever-more-important theme for the investment industry – indeed, the ‘slow but unstoppable’ sustainability train has now left the station, and is picking up speed. Sustainability is a subject close to the heart of the Thinking Ahead Institute and we have worked on a number of related initiatives since our beginnings in 2015. Much of our work focuses on equipping investment organisations to have a holistic and actionable understanding of sustainable investing and how they create value for wider stakeholders such as society and the planet. We do this through providing easy to navigate tools and guidelines, enabling better alignment of mission and broadening the focus of measurement.

Research papers

Sustainability: understanding impact and value creation

An investors guide to communicating value created

Featuring case studies from seven global investment organisations, this paper provides practical guidelines to help organisations define purpose and document beliefs; measure impact; and communicate the value created for stakeholders.

Connecting the dots: understanding purpose in the investment industry

Exploring the purpose of the investment industry and the agents within it, and how the industry’s value proposition to end savers can be developed and improved.

Mission critical: understanding value creation

We propose a vision of what the investment industry should be, and the duty it should take on, and call more stakeholders to the value creation boundary – in particular the planet, and ideally wider society too.

Sustainability beliefs: a new measurement tool

Aiming to help asset owners develop fully-rounded beliefs on sustainability, we include a survey to test benchmark the strength of their beliefs against peers to see if and where they can create an investment edge.

Sustainability portfolio construction

This paper focuses on sustainability risk management and portfolio construction, which are the parts investors tend to struggle to apply the most.

Sustainability portfolio construction case studies

A series of case studies from the sustainability portfolio construction working group.