ESG focus is increasingly important for public companies
Environmental, social and governance issues are becoming increasingly important for public companies, the chairman of the Bermuda Business Development Agency told an international forum.
Stephen Weinstein said: “Increasingly, public companies – which dominate the Bermuda market in many respects – are focused on ESG. If you are a public company, whether domiciled in London, or San Francisco, or Singapore, or Bermuda, you are hearing ESG pressure from a growing constellation of stakeholders.
“Importantly, your team – human capital is increasingly focused on this topic – but your investors, your customers, your stakeholders, the governments with which you deal, want to know about your ESG strategy.
“They want to see that it’s aligned with your own medium and long-term sustainability as a firm and aligned with their values, whether it’s a government, or your human capital, or your partners in the community around you.”
Mr Weinstein was speaking on the panel “Impact Investing and ESG – An Opportunity for Financing Sustainable Development on Islands”, at the Island Finance Forum 2021, a virtual event.
He said the BDA’s goal is to “support and foster sustainable, equitable economic growth and prosperity in Bermuda”.
In light of the “climate crisis”, Mr Weinstein said: “ESG issues are an important part of our strategy in our engagement efforts to attract investment, entrepreneurs and businesses to Bermuda.”
Earlier, Mr Weinstein provided forum delegates with an overview of Bermuda’s economy and its standing as a “global financial hub”.
He said international business is “the bedrock of our economy”, and said Bermuda is “seeking to become the world’s climate risk capital”.
Also appearing on the panel were Jackie Marati, senior vice-president/chief communications and corporate social responsibility officer, Bank of Guam; Mark Lewis, chief sustainability strategist, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Paris; and Simone Hudson, AVP, Alternatives and Fund Management, at NCB Capital Markets Ltd in Jamaica.
The moderator was Fiona Wilson, senior programme manager, Clinton Climate Initiative at the Clinton Foundation.
The four-day forum wrapped up on Friday. It brought together senior financiers, development partners and regulators to share and exchange expertise on sustainable and inclusive financial structures in island communities.
More than 5,000 people registered to view the event, organisers said.